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MeToo: Actor Sruthi Hariharan not ready to settle, says will fight Arjun Sarja in court

Actor Sruthi Hariharan and Arjun Sarja were called to attend a meeting by KFCC following a complaint from Arjun’s father-in-law Rajesh’s complaint.

regional movies Updated: Oct 26, 2018 16:53 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Sruthi Hariharan,Arjun Sarja,Arjun Sarja Sruthi defamation
Me Too: Sruthi Hariharan says she is ready to face Arjun Sarja in court.

Actor Sruthi Hariharan says she is ready to face the Rs 5 crore defamation case filed by Arjun Sarja but will not compromise with the actor. Earlier this week, Sruthi accused Arjun of sexual harassment during the shoot of the 2017 film, Vismaya.

On Thursday evening, Kannada actor and president of the Karnataka Artists Association, Ambareesh, attended a meeting to “broker peace” between the two actors, according to The News Minute. The meeting was called after a complaint by Rajesh, Arjun’s father-in-law, claiming Sruthi’s claims were false. However, both the actors stood their ground and no compromise could be reached.

Arjun said after the meeting, “This will be a lesson to all those who want to malign the name of innocent people. There is no question of a compromise. I will fight this to the end and come out victorious. The ‘Me Too’ movement is being maligned. If the actors wanted to talk about sexual harassment, they could have approached me and I would have gladly supported it. But this is no way of doing things.”

Sruthi said she was the one who has been wronged. “I respect KFCC and since they have asked me to hold off filing a complaint till Friday, I will respect that. I will announce my decision once the meeting is over. I wanted to file a complaint when I came out with my story but since the Film Chamber members told me to hold off for a while, I respected that,” she said.

Ambareesh also tried to fob off the absence of an Internal Complaints Committee at the KFCC. The actor-politician responded, “Why should we set up an ICC? You guys do it. Why should we do it? Let the women do it.” When he was further questioned if he would support such a system, the actor responded, “Why should we support it? We are a small industry and we have sorted out thing by ourselves. Why should we set it up?”

When informed that setting up ICC was compulsory as per law, he told reporters, “I have to study about Me Too. Please send print outs of lessons to me, I will read it. I don’t know what all this is. We will see about setting up the ICC.”

Meanwhile, Arjun’s media manager Prashanth Sampargi termed the #Metoo movement anti-Hindu. He was quoted by News Minute as saying, “The Me Too movement in India is an anti-Hindu campaign designed to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a run up to the 2019 election. The Christian missionaries in the US are trying to hurt Hindu sentiments and malign Arjun Sarja’s name.”

The #MeToo movement in the film industry began with Tanushree Dutta accusing Nana Patekar of sexual harassment. The movement gained momentum in the following days with directors Vikas Bahl, Sajid Khan, Subhash Ghai, actor Alok Nath and many others being called out for sexual harassment.

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First Published: Oct 26, 2018 16:52 IST