A day after filmmaker Hansal Mehta came to the defense of Shilpa Shetty Kundra, the Bollywood star has also found an ally in Richa Chadha during the ongoing scandal surrounding her husband Raj Kundra.
Following Kundra’s arrest on July 19 over allegations of filming and distributing pornography through mobile apps, and the deafening silence from most of Bollywood, actress Chadha is one of a handful of people who has spoken up in favour of Shetty Kundra amidst the media circus.
“We’ve made a national sport out of blaming women for the mistakes of the men in their lives. Glad she’s suing,” posted Chadha on Twitter, as she retweeted Mehta’s comments on Shetty Kundra, while lauding the actress for filing a defamation suit against 29 media outlets for a sum of Rs200 million.
Chadha’s post drew support from Twitter users, with Pradeep Kumar writing: “This is an appreciation tweet for my best Bollywood couple @RichaChadha and @alifazal9 . Both of them hv the moral courage to call what is wrong wrong. More power to you guys and wish you to hv great partnership together [sic].”
Chetan Singh chimed in to write: “Shameful that every media outlet is branding her pic while talking about alleged crimes in which her husband is a suspect. There. Alleged till convicted by court. Suspect/(there are better words im too sleepy to think) till convicted by court. And keep shilpa out.”
A day earlier, Mehta spoke out on Twitter against the media intrusion in Shetty Kundra’s personal life and requested everyone to maintain a dignified approach in their reporting. “If you cannot stand up for her at least leave Shilpa Shetty alone and let the law decide? Allow her some dignity and privacy. It is unfortunate that people in public life ultimately are left to fend for themselves and are proclaimed guilty even before justice is meted out,” Mehta wrote in a series of tweets.
“This silence is a pattern. In good times everybody parties together. In bad times there is deafening silence. There is isolation. No matter what the ultimate truth the damage is already done,” Mehta further added, seemingly commenting on the lack of support coming from Bollywood for the actress and her family.
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The filmmaker also picked on the media for its intrusion. “This vilification is a pattern. If the allegations are against a film person there is a rush to invade privacy, to pass sweeping judgement, to character-assassinate, to fill ‘news’ with trashy gossip - all at the cost of individuals and their dignity. This is the cost of silence,” he continued.
Mehta is an award-winning filmmaker with films such as ‘Shahid’, ‘Aligarh’ and ‘Citylights’ to his credit, along with the hit web series ‘Scam 1992’.
Mehta is one of the few people from the entertainment industry who have gone on record about the Kundra arrest, with the other being the star of the filmmaker’s movie ‘Simran’, namely Kangana Ranaut who reacted to Kundra’s arrest by reaffirming her commitment to expose the “underbelly of Bullywood” through her upcoming production. Ranaut took to her Instagram stories earlier where she shared a news report regarding Kundra’s arrest while writing: “All that glitters is not gold, I am going to expose underbelly of Bullywood in my upcoming production called Tiku Weds Sheru... we need strong value system and conscience in the creative industry and, of course, a whip....”
Earlier this week, Shetty Kundra was able to get a Bombay High Court ruling partly in her favour, with several media outlets asked to take down content in light of her defamation suit. However, the court refused to gag the press in the matter.
“If a person is a public figure, it should not be construed that the person has been deemed to have sacrificed the right to privacy. None of this should involve Shilpa Shetty’s parenting or her children,” the court stated.
While this was a small win for the Bollywood star, the HC did take a middle ground in other matters, stating that news reports that were based on police sources cannot be termed as malicious and defamatory, telling Shetty Kundra’s lawyer that any ruling in their favour “will have serious consequences on the freedom of the press.”
Kundra is to remain in judicial custody until August 10, while police continue to investigate the case.