Since Monday, allegations of sexual harassment have been made against lyricist Vairamuthu. Journalist Sandhya Menon first shared an anonymous allegation about how Vairamuthu had assaulted a woman, who was 18 years of age and had gone to the poet to work on a project. Following this, singer Chinmayi retweeted the post and also shared similar allegations against Vairamuthu that had been made anonymously to her.
Finally, on Tuesday, Chinamyi herself named Vairamuthu as a sexual harasser and detailed how she had allegedly been asked by the organiser of a programme in Switzerland to "cooperate" with Vairamuthu. She was reportedly asked to visit him in a hotel in Lucerne. When she refused and demanded that they (Chinmayi and her mother) return to India, she was supposedly told that her career was over. Chinmayi says that the incident took place in 2005 or 2006.
Further, the singer added that 3-4 years ago, Vairamuthu had asked her to sing the Tamizh Thaai Vaazhthu at a book release function. When she refused him, he allegedly threatened her and said that he would tell a politician that she'd spoken ill of him onstage. Chinmayi also said that in all her years in the industry, nobody but Vairamuthu had behaved indecently with her. *
Year 2005/2006 maybe.— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) October 9, 2018
Veezhamattom. An album for Srilankan Tamizhs that I had sung in, as had Manikka Vinayagam sir.
I dont remember if it was a book or an album release or both now; the performances and launch happened in Switzerland in (Bern / Zurich maybe)
We sang. We went to Switzerland. We performed.— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) October 9, 2018
Everyone left. Only my mother and I were asked to stay back.
The organizer(I dont remember his name) asked me to visit Vairamuthu sir in a hotel in Lucerne.
I asked why. He told me to cooperate. I refused. We demanded to be sent back to India. He said ‘You wont have a career!’— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) October 9, 2018
My mother and I both put our foot down, career vendam mannum vendam. Demanded an earlier flight to India and came back.
3, maybe 4 years ago, he had a book release function & asked me to sing Tamizh Thaai vaazhthu.— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) October 9, 2018
I said I would be unable to.
He in turn responded ‘I ll tell (a politician) you spoke ill of him on stage, yelled at me and kept the phone down
I bawled. My parents in law consoled me
Then had the courage to call his manager back & told him ‘I ll go and tell the same politician you re lying because I have NEVER given a political speech and HE will trust ME.— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) October 9, 2018
This for refusing to sing.
And you ask why victims dont name him?!
To hell with those of you who do.
In 17 years not one man in the industry across languages Hindi Tamil Telugu Malayalam Kannada Marathi has misbehaved.— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) October 9, 2018
Not one man has indecently messaged me or touched me.
My work place is mostly clean save for some bad apples.
I call Vairamuthu (Sir) out alone and I dare.
The staff at Vairamuthu sir’s office KNOW. His closest confidants know. They are also his enablers.— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) October 9, 2018
Vairamuthu sir, you KNOW what you did.
With due respect your #TimesUp
I dont care if I ever sing or dub in this industry ever.
This is my story. And this is the truth.
While actors Samantha and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar expressed their support for the #MeToo movement, there was resounding silence from the rest of the Tamil film industry. However, actor Siddharth finally tweeted that multiple women were speaking up against Vairamuthu and that their voices must be heard. "When somebody of Chinmayi's stature, who has so much to lose, stands by the accusers, that's huge!" wrote the actor. He further added there will be an investigation.
Multiple women are speaking out against Kavignar #Vairamuthu. Without judging anyone, they must be heard. When somebody of @Chinmayi's stature who has so much to lose, stands by the accusers, that's huge! There will be investigation. First step #ListenToTheAccuser #MeToo #Timesup— Siddharth (@Actor_Siddharth) October 9, 2018
Anonymous accusations have also been made about Vairamuthu allegedly sexually harassing women at a hostel that he owns.
Vairamuthu is yet to comment on the issue.