Indonesia owns up to Kitsch 'bribe' incident

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 06 2012 11:39 PM | Updated as of Mar 07 2012 11:23 PM

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Hollywood actor Taylor Kitsch was allegedly asked for his iPhone as a bribe by airport officials as he entered Indonesia, and not the Philippines as previously suggested, an Indonesian official confirmed Tuesday.

The story of the alleged bribe emerged when "Late Show" host David Letterman asked the "Friday Night Lights" TV star about his recent shoot for the Oliver Stone film "Savages."

Letterman mentioned the Philippines when he talked about the shoot -- but Kitsch failed to correct him and say that the filming took place in Indonesia.

Denny Indrayana, Indonesian deputy minister for justice and human rights, confirmed to news portal that "the Indonesian official who allegedly bribed Taylor Kitsch has been identified and we are now in the process of interrogating him."

"He will be sanctioned if he is found guilty of asking for a bribe."

On the "Late Show," Kitsch described how an airport customs officer threatened to send him back to Japan, his port of origin, because he had run out of pages in his passport.

The 30-year-old Canadian-born actor arrived at Bali island's Ngurah Rai airport on February 1, as scheduled, to shoot a film in the neighboring West Nusa Tenggara province.

Kitsch said he was finally allowed in after proving he was an actor by showing the officer on his iPhone the trailer for his recently completed film "John Carter," in which he plays a Civil War veteran transplanted to Mars.

"I said 'I can show you something to prove (that I'm an actor)' and then I'm looking on my iPhone because their computers weren't working, and he is like 'Hey, can you get me one of those'...," Kitsch told Letterman.

Corruption is rampant in Indonesia, which ranked 100th of 182 countries on Transparency International's annual corruption index.