In 1979, Iranian authorities arrested the country’s biggest music icon for “moral corruption.” Over four decades later, as protests in Iran capture the world’s attention, Googoosh and her American granddaughter, 20-year-old Mya, are speaking out in support of “girls risking their lives for everyone else’s freedom.”
It’s a sunny December afternoon in Los Angeles and Googoosh — Iran’s most famous pop star and beauty idol of the 20th century — is at home, spending time with her granddaughter, Mya Ghorbani. Googoosh greets me at the door with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. She is soft-spoken and naturally warm. Her short blonde hair is slicked back and she’s wearing a gold pendant in the shape of Iran around her neck.
Her modest one-story house is nestled next to the Santa Monica Mountains in the city’s upscale Beverly Crest neighborhood. When you step inside, it’s easy to forget you’re in the home of an international superstar. The place has a lived-in comfort that makes you feel at ease. Colorful Persian rugs cover her living room and dining room floors. Small minakari trinkets and family photos are spread across several accent tables. And oil paintings — depicting traditionally dressed Persian women and horses — adorn the walls.