Former playboy model turned prison inmate Angie Vu has told reporters that after six months behind bars what she’s really in need of is a mirror and some nail polish.
The 32-year-old is being held in a Brooklyn jail after being arrested on kidnapping charges while trying to board a flight to China with her nine-year-old daughter Isabella, The New York Daily News reports.
Vu – once dubbed "Asia's sexiest DJ" – says life in a New York prison is "torture" – being crammed into a cell block with 100 other female inmates is only made worse by the fact that she can’t tend to her grooming like she would out of the clink.
“This place is so horrible, there’s no sunlight ever,” Vu told the New York Daily News of life at Metropolitan Detention Center.
“I have been under the harsh light 24/7 and turned pale. I need a good supply of Guerlain’s (skin) moisturiser in here.
“I miss my Versace dresses and Louboutin heels. My nails are nicely trimmed but I’m dying to have some colours on them. The torture is real.”
But Vietnamese-born Vu says she doesn’t regret being incarcerated because she’s there for good reason and was willing to risk her freedom and line-free face for her cause.
She told reporters:
“I’m not supposed to be worried about anything. It gives me wrinkles. ... Do I feel ashamed for being here? The answer is no. I’m here for a great cause, for protecting my child. This injustice won’t crash my spirit. I’m still rocking and rolling.”
The father of Vu’s daughter, Richard Froger convinced French authorities to pursue his estranged lover after she failed to return Isabella to France after an agreed upon vacation to America.
She was sprung at New York’s Kennedy Airport with her daughter plane tickets for the pair to China.
Since the November arrest Isabella was returned to her father in France and her mother now faces extremely serious parental abduction charges which can carry a three-year sentence. Vu is unable to apply for bail as she is fighting extradition to Paris.
Unfortunately, she has not been able to speak to her daughter since her arrest but she is getting by with cheery gifts sent to her by fans, including teddy bears and lingerie.
She also seems to have had a lot of time to think about what is important.
“There’s no real mirror in prison,” she said.
“We all buy this tiny piece of plastic ... but the images are distorted. I wish there should be at least one full-length mirror in here. I haven’t looked at myself for months. It’s cruel.”
The lingerie model - who posed as a topless Miss September centerfold Playboy Venezuela - has also found ways of going unnoticed while being in the pen.
“A lot of lesbians around here and a few blondies are hitting on me. But I prefer to read my Bible for now,” she said.
“I realised how tough I am. I thought I couldn’t last for two days and it’s now three months. I came to God and got saved so I spent time to pray and read the Bible, too.”
She added: “I tried my best not to get in any fights. I thought prison could be much worse, though. Only saw prison on TV, I was ready for gang rape, getting beaten up and vowed to protect my face at all cost.”
The parental abduction case comes only a week after Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner and a 60 Mintues crew were forced to spend two weeks in a Lebanese prison following a botched child recovery.
Ms Faulkner and crew were released but only after Sally signed away her custody rights to her two children who now remain in Beirut with their father.