Ex-Miss U.S.A.: I Was Sultan's "Toy"

Shannon Marketic says world's richest man held her captive

By Jeff B. Copeland Mar 21, 1997 1:40 AMTags
The 1992 Miss U.S.A. beauty queen says the sultan of Brunei, reputedly the world's richest man, held her as a "sexual toy" for a month in his small, oil-soaked, island country in the South China Sea.

Shannon Marketic, 26, sued the Sultan in Los Angeles federal district court in January for $90 million. A judge unsealed the court documents yesterday.

Earlier this month, the Brunei government issued a statement that the Sultan "has never been acquainted with, nor met, Ms. Marketic" and "categorically" denied her allegations.

Marketic claims that a Los Angeles talent agency sent her and six other young women to Brunei for what they were told would be modeling and promotional work for a fee of $21,000 a week.

But on arrival, their passports and return tickets were taken away, and they were led off to the sultan's palace. There they were ordered to dance at parties every night while the sultan and guests would grope at them and make lewd comments.

One of the guests, her suit claims, shouted, "What do you think you are here for? You might have been Miss U.S.A., but you're a whore now." She says the women were often told that they were expected at "tea" with a man, meaning they were to have sex with him.

When not engaged in forced partying, Marketic's filing says, the women were held "basically under house arrest" and were made to watch movies, "Much of which...dealt with women, particularly models, being abused and/or killed."

After 32 days of being "forcibly detained" she was given her passport and ticket and $10,000 and told she had 20 minutes to pack.

The suit names the sultan, Haji Hassanal Bolkiah and his brother Prince Jaji Jefri Bolkiah as co-defendants. The sultan owns the Beverly Hills Hotel. He flew Michael Jackson in for a concert for his subjects last year.

Marketic also sued Kaliber Talent Consulting; she says the agency specifically told her there would be no sex involved when all along it intended to sell her as a "prostitute." There was no answer at Kaliber's phone this afternoon.