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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

MMS scandal: I can fight the world, says Mona Singh

Kavita Awaasthi, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, March 30, 2013
First Published: 11:31 IST(30/3/2013) | Last Updated: 12:51 IST(1/4/2013)

An MMS clip featuring TV actor Mona Singh went viral on the Internet on March 28. When she learnt of the clip, she was shooting for her show Sony’s Kya Hua Tera Vaada. Extremely shocked, yet putting up a brave front, she even reported to work on March 29.

With the support of her family and friends, Mona is now determined to fight till the end and hopes that the culprit will be caught soon.

What was your reaction when you found out about the MMS?
It’s absolutely disgraceful that something like this has happened. Someone has gone to the extent of morphing someone’s face on to someone else’s body. If this can happen to me, it can happen to any innocent girl. I’m glad that I’m a celebrity and can talk to the media. Only the media can help me get out of this. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2013/3/Mona-Singh.jpg

What did you do when you learnt of the clip?
I was shocked when I found out. I never thought anything like this could happen to me. Now I completely sympathise and empathise with girls who have gone through such instances. I packed up and left the shooting and registered a complaint with the cyber crime cell. I met senior police officers. They were very helpful. They said that they will try to stop its spread as much as they can. I’m sure they will work hard and something will be done very soon.

Do you suspect anyone?
I have no idea. In spite of the furore over the Delhi gang-rape, crimes against women haven’t decreased. All the men involved in these activities should be behind bars and punished so badly that they stop doing this. Your parents, family too must have been shocked. I am answerable to my family, friends and people who love me. Thankfully, they are supporting me. I told my parents and friends about the video, took them into confidence as they will be the ones standing by me through thick and thin. The only thing my parents told me was to be strong. With my parents beside me, I can fight the world.

What do you plan to do next?
I want to tell everyone that this has to be stopped. Instead of showing the clip on TV, the media should talk about the crime and take serious action against it. They should fight for the cause and find the culprit and help me and many other women fight back. Are you back to shooting? I don’t have to hide. I’m not scared of anything as I know it’s morphed.

A victim of a similar controversy speaks out
Life is short, memories are even shorter The best way to deal with such an awkward situation is to be strong so that you can be above the situation and slowly move beyond it. You shouldn’t be cowed by people’s reactions to it. Life is short and memories are even shorter. Trust me, there is no better way than to face it head on and to do away with it.

I moved on from this long back because I was strong. Yes, there was awkwardness initially due to the nature of the event, but it wasn’t to the extent that it had any lasting bearing on me or my family. Honestly, I didn’t care so it didn’t trouble me. In fact, I have a better life than I had before.

Shalvi Mangaokar reports

Psychologists and other women speak up
Mona Singh has already filed a complaint about the MMS, but we wonder what it’s like for a woman to go through such trauma.

Psychologist Shweta Parekh says, “Even if she isn’t a public figure, for any woman to face this situation is hard. The incident keeps playing in your mind, making you anxious.”

Likewise, psychologist Mansi Hasan says, “There’s a certain image which has suddenly been shattered. The media will hype the situation, making it difficult for her to forget it.” Both Parekh and Hasan add that such situations often make the person want to escape and avoid any sort of social contact. What’s required though, is some comfort and counselling.

Shruti Mehta, 19, says, “It’s easy for young girls to trust a guy and let something like this happen. It’s only later that you realise how intense the situation is. I can’t even imagine being in this situation.” Anushka Iyer, 30, agrees. “You’re really immature in your teenage years and early 20s. Many girls do this without giving it a second thought. It’s easy to trust and just go with the flow at that time,” she says.

MORE ON THE ISSUE

Mona Singh files police complaint as MMS goes viral
Television actor Mona Singh has filed a complaint with the cyber crime branch of Mumbai Police after an MMS clip that allegedly shows her naked went viral on the internet on March 28. Singh, who plays the lead in the serial Kya Hua Tera Vaada, was shooting on Thursday evening when she heard about the clip and immediately left the sets to file the complaint. “All I can say is that this is a morphed video,” Singh told HT on Friday. “I have taken relevant action and filed a complaint and investigations are on.” COMPLETE STORY

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