Richard Gere says he is sorry. Following the controversy over his kissing actress Shilpa Shetty on stage during an AIDS awareness event in the Capital a fortnight ago, Gere on Friday offered to apologise.
The Hollywood actor’s reaction came a day after a Jaipur court issued an arrest warrant against him for having “transcended all limits of vulgarity”.
“What is most important to me is that my intentions as an HIV/AIDS advocate be made clear. It has never been, nor could it ever be, my intention to offend. If that had happened, of course it is easy for me to offer a sincere apology,” Gere said in a statement. “The event in question was intended to celebrate courageous people and partnerships in the supremely important fight against HIV/AIDS, a worldwide pandemic which has afflicted over 5 million Indians.”
Gere said he was sorry Shetty was targeted for no fault of hers. He said his kisses were a “clumsy attempt at a Shall We Dance move and a naive misread of Indian customs”.
On Thursday, Gere had hit out at the Shiv Sena, which had organised protests against him. “There is a very small, right-wing, very conservative political party in India, and they are the moral police in India, and they do this kind of thing quite often,” Gere told a US TV show.