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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Somy Ali, Salman Khan’s ex, writes empowering MeToo note: I was abused at 5, raped at 14

Salman Khan’s former partner, Somy Ali, herself a survivor of abuse, has written an empowering note addressed to everyone who is opening up about their #MeToo stories.

bollywood Updated: Oct 15, 2018 20:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Salman Khan and Somy Ali reportedly dated for eight years.
Salman Khan and Somy Ali reportedly dated for eight years.
         

Somy Ali, actor Salman Khan’s former partner, has reiterated her personal story about having faced sexual abuse, amid the ongoing #MeToo movement in India. She has written an emotional Instagram post saluting ‘all those that have spoken up.’

“As a survivor of sexual abuse at the age of 5 and rape at 14, I would like to salute all those that have spoken up and plan on doing so. I know it is very difficult to do it because I have been there and it took me many years to be able to talk about it. It takes immense amount of courage to share this with the world. It’s even harder when you tell those that are close to you and they are supposed to protect you, yet they do nothing. I have been there too and it hurts like hell. But I want these survivors to know it is truly liberating and completely worth it. Do not let the nonbelievers stop you. This is your truth. Do not ever be afraid to speak your truth. Do not let this opportunity pass you. This is a moment that has been long overdue for all of us. This is your chance to be heard and finally obtain justice. I believe you,” she wrote.

 

Hitlist in an earlier interview had quoted Somy as saying, “I was sexually assaulted by a house-help when I was just five. When I am invited for a talk at high schools and universities in the US, I share this with the students. I believe sharing my personal experiences would encourage others to speak out and not be ashamed about being a victim.”

She further said that the social climate was such at the time that abuse in all forms was brushed under the rug. “I grew up amidst an atmosphere of domestic violence in Pakistan and many of my mom’s friends were victims of physical abuse as well. When I would ask my mom about the bruises on their bodies, I was always told that X aunty or Y aunty fell down the stairs. This was the standard, universal euphemism for physical abuse,”

Somy, who hails from Pakistan, had first opened up about her past in 2015. She entered the film industry in the early ‘90s, but left a few years later for Florida, where she founded her NGO, No More Tears.

Several prominent Bollywood personalities such as directors Subhash Ghai, Rajat Kapoor, Sajid Khan and actors such as Nana Patekar and Alok Nath have been named in India’s #MeToo movement. Action has already been initiated against some of the alleged. While investigations have been launched into some cases, Sajid Khan has quit his duties as director on Housefull 4, with star Akshay Kumar announcing that the production has been halted until the matter has been looked into.

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