INSTAGRAM / ANGIE VU HA
For almost 10 months, she was known as inmate 86359053 at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, surrounded by 80 other female inmates.
It’s not a situation you’d expect Asia’s sexiest DJ and a former Playboy model to be in.
But it happened to Vietnamese model and DJ, Angie Vu Ha, 33, who was jailed over child kidnapping charges involving her then-nine-year old daughter. After she was released from prison last month, Vu dived straight back into work and was in Singapore over the Formula 1 weekend to spin at FashionTV Club’s Pitstop Party.
Most people know Vu as Asia’s sexiest supermodel DJ who has posed for Playboy and FHM magazines. But as a former prison inmate? It is not something the talented DJ is shy about, though, when The New Paper met her on Saturday night.
Vu was arrested last November at John F. Kennedy International Airport for trying to take her daughter from New York, when she was there for a visit, to Vietnam. The girl, now 10, lives with her father, a French national, in Paris. The girl’s father and Vu had met in 2005. In late August, Vu was handed over to French police and was officially released two hours after arriving there.
Vu told New York Daily News in April that prison life was “torture” without her clothes and heels and it was “horrible” with the lack of sunlight. When TNP asked her about it, she said that it was meant as a “joke”. Said Vu: “Prison taught me to appreciate everything (outside).
“Even a simple glass cup makes me happy, because everything inside (prison), such as the knives and forks, were made of plastic. Even in the workout room, the dumb-bells were all plastic.”
She said the first couple of months were the toughest because every time she went to a court hearing, she thought she would be released. Vu said: “I had friends who came to court and they brought me makeup and clothes. I thought I was going home.” Vu said the toughest part was not the living conditions or the clothes she had to wear, because she had grown up in Vietnam, a developing country.
She said: “It was more about the bigger things for me, like worrying about my daughter’s safety. I’m not the kind of mother who has to see their daughter immediately. I was more concerned about the end game and trying to get her back.” Most of her time behind bars was spent on yoga and cardio exercises, and reading.
Vu said she was well-loved by fellow inmates and the correctional officers, and was even asked to sign autographs. On her 33rd birthday, on June 1, a fellow inmate threw her a birthday party. She added: “My fans also subscribed to Vogue and Cosmopolitan magazines for me.”
Her time in jail has not hurt her career and she is still getting international gigs and offers.
“It’s always sexual stuff... A French company even offered me a few million dollars to be in a porn movie.”
This story was originally published on The New Paper.