Sahar Tabar, whose real name is Fatemeh Khishvand, was given a lengthy prison sentence earlier this month for corruption of young people and disrespecting the Islamic Republic, The Guardian and BBC News Persian report. The sentence was related to a series of photos she shared on Instagram in 2017, in which she used makeup and digital editing to make herself look like a grotesque version of Jolie.
Tabar, 19, appeared in a TV interview with the state-run Rokna news agency a few days after her sentence, and was released on bail following that interview, Al Arabiya English reports.
One of Tabar’s lawyers, Saeid Dehghan, later tweeted that she had been forced into a confession and did not have access to her attorneys when she was coaxed into it.
Video from the interview shows her announcing the bail deal. She appeared in the interview without any filters or appearance-altering makeup.
She reportedly said she had been trying to copy the look of the Corpse Bride, an undead character from the Tim Burton film of the same name. She also described prison as a “nightmare,” according to the Human Rights Activists News Agency.
Iran may have released Tabar because of the international backlash to her sentence, according to Masih Alinejad, a journalist and human rights activist focused on Iran. However, Iranian officials have denied that outside pressure was a factor.
Tabar posted several photos of herself in zombie makeup beginning in 2017. The images spread around the world and drew hundreds of thousands to her Instagram page. She was also praised in Iran’s state-run media for her makeup skills.
However, Iranian authorities eventually decided that the photos offended their public decency laws, so they arrested her in October 2019 and forced her to delete her Instagram page.
Iran has banned several major social media networks in the country, including Facebook and Twitter.
She still hopes to appeal her sentence.