More women accuse Ali Zafar of groping, forcibly kissing them

Pakistani singer and actor Ali Zafar has been accused of sexually harassing women.

bollywood Updated: Apr 20, 2018 16:03 IST
Indo Asian News Service
Ali Zafar,Ali Zafar Sexual Harassment,Ali Zafar Controversy
Pressure mounted against Pakistani singer and actor Ali Zafar after he was hit with a sexual harassment allegation by a leading actor and singer in the first high profile "#metoo" accusation in the staunchly patriarchal country. (AFP)

After a Pakistani actor-model-singer accused actor Ali Zafar of sexual harassment -- a claim he has denied -- more women have come forward with similar allegations. The women, while lending support her, tweeted saying she was not alone and they had faced similar experiences, reported Geo News.

A make-up artist thanked the original accuser for being brave enough to speak out.

“Seeing (the original accuser)’s courage it’s impossible for me to not speak now, not only in support of her but also to say she’s not alone. In the many years I have known Ali, he has on several occasions crossed boundaries of what is appropriate behaviour between friends,” she wrote.

She elucidated on how Ali’s behaviour displays a “clear lack of respect for women”.

Ali on Thursday denied her claim, saying he will take this allegation through the courts of law. (AFP)

“Inappropriate contact, groping, sexual comments should not fall in the grey area between humour and indecency. Comments that would make your skin crawl and make you feel objectified are not to be reduced to ‘a joke’ such behaviours can leave women feeling embarrassed, small and reduced to the level of entertainment at the hands of a woman.

“In such cases, women like myself run from a situation and hope to God you never cross paths again. And when by some misfortune you do, you hide from him. Hoping that his sleazy eyes and hands don’t find you again. His hands don’t make their way up and down your waist or hold you too tight while you desperately try to wiggle and run,” she wrote.

The make-up artist said that the original accuser “isn’t and has not been alone”.

Ali Zafar has worked in films like Mere Brother Ki Dulhan in Bbollywood.

“The memories of the times when Ali thought he could get away by saying vulgar things still disgust me,” she added.

A journalist described an incident from “many many years ago” when Ali tried to kiss her cousin and pull her into a restroom with him.

The journalist thanked the original accuser for “reminding us that our stories matter”.

A blogger also recounted when he inappropriately touched her at a public event.

On Thursday evening, the actor-model sparked Pakistan’s #MeToo moment when she took to Twitter to allege Ali had sexually harassed her on more than one occasion. This is the first incident of a Pakistani celebrity speaking out about a colleague.

Read: Ali Zafar denies sexual harassment allegations, says silence is not an option

However, Ali on Thursday denied her claim, saying he will take this allegation through the courts of law.

“I am a strong believer that the truth always prevails,” he tweeted.

Although Pakistan’s entertainment industry has remained largely mum on the issue, actor-writer Osman Khalid Butt and model-actress Urwa Hocane have tweeted in support of the accuser, reported Geo News.

Meanwhile, actor Maya Ali posted on Instagram saying she respects Ali and “we shouldn’t judge anyone’s character” until the truth comes out.

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First Published: Apr 20, 2018 16:00 IST