Veteran actor Revathy has come out with a statement on Sunday, clarifying an incident she spoke of during the Women in Cinema Collective press conference in Kochi on Saturday.
While the WCC expressed their disappointment with the way the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) was handling the case of a rape survivor actor, Revathy narrated an incident that happened several years ago. She spoke of a 17-year-old girl knocking at her door late in the night and asking Revathy to save her.
As soon as she said this, there were questions from journalists asking her for details on this incident, and how could she hide it for so long, and also hinting that it was illegal to have done so. Revathy tried to explain that it had happened many years ago and she couldnâ€™t reveal anything without the said personâ€™s consent.
But then a lawyer â€“ Jiaz Jamal â€“ has reportedly made a complaint with the police, saying that a case should be filed against Revathy for hiding the incident.
In her statement on Sunday, Revathy explains that the said incident happened 25-26 years ago (at a time when the POCSO act had not come into being) and when Revathy herself was a young woman.
â€śOn that night at around at around 11.30 PM, a seventeen year old girl, whose identity I do not wish to disclose, came running to my room and knocked on my door. She said that someone repeatedly knocked at her door asking her to open and she did not know who it was. This happened in spite of her grandmother staying with her. I asked her to come inside the room and locked the door. She was scared and I was also equally scared and both of us waited out that night in fear,â€ť Revathy writes in her statement released on Sunday.
She then marks in bold: NO SEXUAL OR PHYSICAL ASSAULT ACTUALLY HAPPENED.
But it was an incident that had always troubled her and since the discussion at the WCC press meet was about the safety of women at workplace, she shared this experience. She did not want such incidents to be repeated any more, Revathy adds.
â€śThough a lot of people might think it was a trivial issue it was a traumatic experience for me and that girl. No one should dare to come and scare a young artist into submission. There should be a stern warning given to one and all that 'NO MEANS NO' AND WE WILL NOT TOLERATE ANY NONSENSE. At that age I did not have the courage to go and confront whoever was out there that night. Since a lot of persons were calling me and asking about that incident I thought I had a responsibility to clarify it,â€ť her note ends.