Actor Arjun Sarda has slapped a Rs 5 crore defamation notice against Sruthi Hariharan for accusing him of sexually harassing her on the sets of 2016 film Vismaya.
File photo of Arjun Sarja and Sruthi Hariharan.
On October 22, Hariharan in a Facebook post, said, “During the rehearsal, we delivered our lines and Mr. Arjun hugs me. With no forewarning or permission, he runs his hands intimately up and down my back. He pulls me closer with my body taut against his and asks the director if we could use this idea of foreplay in the scene.”
Arjun has denied the allegations and taken legal action against her.
Taking cognisance of the issue, the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) has called for a meeting on Thursday where both the actors along with senior film personalities from the industry were present. Both the actors were counselled by veteran actor Ambreesh along with Kavita Lankesh and others.
The industry is divided over the issue with many veterans coming out in support of Arjun Sarja, while others are showing solidarity with Shruti.
Prashanth Sambargi sprang into Arjun Sarja’s defence and accused Shruti of misusing the #MeToo campaign. He said, “This is a paid campaign by Shruti, she has hired media from abroad to malign the reputation of the industry. She hails from Kerala and has a communist background and has an anti-hindu agenda.”
Actor Prakash Rai expressed his solidarity towards Shruti, he said on Twitter, “Let us not forget that Arjun Sarja is the pride of Kannada film industry and a veteran actor. But in the wake of the allegations made by Sruthi Hariharan, let us also try to understand the pain, helplessness and insult experienced by the woman for so many days. Even if Arjun dismisses the allegations, it would be best if he apologized for the pain he has caused on the day (of the shoot).”