Dangdut singer Julia Perez stepped out of East Jakarta's Pondok Bambu women's penitentiary in a red Air Force uniform with the words "I'm Free" emblazoned across the back Monday morning, smiling as she welcomed a crowd of fans after serving a three-month prison sentence for assaulting fellow dangdut singer Dewi Persik.
The controversial singer, known for her sexually suggestive songs, greeted the crowd, shouting "I am now purely free," before leaving to hand out copies of the Koran at seven mosques.
Julia, whose real name is Yuli Rahmawati, spent three months in jail after an on-screen dustup came to real blows on the set of the 2010 Indonesian horror film “Arwah Goyang Karawang” (“Dancing Ghost of Karawang”). Julia appealed the conviction, lost the appeal and then disappeared before a Feb. 14 deadline to serve her sentence.
The fugitive celebrity reappeared more than a month later after undergoing therapy for neck pain at the behest of neurologist Andreas Hari, a doctor who famously treated Nunun Nurbaeti for her mysterious "forgetting disease."
Julia, now free of her legal obligations, said she regretted nothing.
"I don't want to look back," she said smiling. "I am happy I could go through it all."
Julia's manager presented the star with a best actress award from Saturday's 2013 Bandung Film Festival for her portrayal of a martial arts master in the Indonesian action film "Gending Sriwijaya."
Her Twitter account was a flurry of activity after her release as fans congratulated Julia on her new-found freedom. The singer responded "hey, audience. how are you? I'm back, do you miss me?" before taking a moment to pose with a box of Jupe Fried Chicken, tweeting "Eat first. Hungry. Jupe eating Jupe. Lol."
She also addressed her would-be critics tweeting in English "Nobody is perfect. You never know what people are going through. So pause before you start judging."
The tweet caught the eye of Hutomo Mandala Putra, better known as Tommy Soeharto, who responded "True :-)" before tweeting "Good morning, everyone must have done wrong. And "truth" will never exist if there is no "wrong". :-)."
The son of former president Suharto is no stranger to legal troubles. In 2002, Tommy was sentenced to 10 years in jail for ordering the assassination of Supreme Court Judge Syarifuddin Kartasasmita. He served four years.