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Saturday, Nov 23, 2019

MeToo: Malayalam actor who accused Alencier of sexual harassment ends anonymity in fiery video

The anonymous actor who had accused actor Alencier of sexual harassment has revealed her identity in a fiery Facebook video. Watch here.

regional-movies Updated: Oct 16, 2018 21:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Actor Divya Gopinath has accused Alencier of sexual harassment.
Actor Divya Gopinath has accused Alencier of sexual harassment.
         

On Monday, an anonymous blog post accusing actor Alencier of sexual harassment had surfaced online. The blog detailed incidents of harassment from when the accuser and Alencier had worked together in a film. On Tuesday, an actor came forward with the accusation on Facebook, revealing herself to be Divya Gopinath, who worked on the critically acclaimed film Ayaal Sassi.

She wrote, “Finally, managed to talk to my parents. They will stand rock solid with me. Time to end anonymity. The actress who wrote this letter to India Protests is me.”

In the video, the actor expressed her disappointment about how her blog was received and said, “When a woman decides to share her experience, and without naming herself, it is sad that people come forward to abuse her and call her a fraud.”

 

Divya also used the incident of actor Dileep allegedly perpetrating a sexual assault to settle personal scores as an example to explain the effect of revealing her name. She asked in the video, “In the ongoing case, the difference in the kind of treatment that is meted out to the accused and the survivor, who has years of experience in the industry, is glaringly different. In such a situation, how can an artiste like me, who is only a few films old and is not even a member of the organisation, expect to seek justice? Nobody has fed any thoughts into my mind. I am old enough to think for myself and I do not believe in such an organisation anymore.”

Divya also revealed, “Only after filing a complaint did I realise that Alencier has been a regular offender and has behaved inappropriately with various women on multiple sets. The harassment was not the result of any ‘mental trauma’ he was undergoing then, like he claimed.”

She further added, “When I wrote it (the blog) anonymously people started commenting that this was a lie and that it was WCC propaganda. I did inform some of the top people in WCC. They asked me if they should make him apologise. I told them that would have been enough (at first when I thought it was just me). But not any longer as I have realised that he had harassed other women.”

In the blog, Divya had anonymously said, “The first incident happened on a lunch table. There was 3 of us. Myself, him and a co-actor. He described how a star, bigger than him, behaves to women around him as he kept ogling at my breasts. I got upset. But he advised me to be more social and asked me to see things more lightly. I didn’t respond to it. But I could feel it wasn’t safe to be around him.”

The Women in Cinema Collective had recently addressed the bias in the treatment of actor Dileep, and the victim of a crime that he had reportedly perpetrated, leading to a backlash from AMMA members. The Malayalam film industry is divided over secretary of AMMA Siddique’s response to WCC’s comments about Bollywood’s response to the #MeToo movement and victims of sexual harassment.

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