In a first, Ali Zafar has remarked on Meesha Shafi’s sexual harassment claims on the singer-turned actor in an interview with the BBC Asian Network.
Meesha made an astounding statement regarding one of Pakistan’s most famous star. She accused Ali of sexually harassing her, on not one but numerous occasions.
While the Aya Lariye singer took to social media to make her voice heard, Ali retaliated with legal advances, announcing he will be taking a professional route on the matter.
In midst of a legal battle, Ali is currently gearing up for his upcoming first-ever Pakistani film, Teefa In Trouble, which also marks the debut of Maya Ali.
“People will find out in time,” Ali commented. “With time everything comes out and the truth unveils itself. I, since day one, said that I will not fight this over social media as I will take the professional course and I have sought professional remedies and the due course of law shall give justice in time.”
The host, Haroon Rashid went on to quote Meesha, and said ‘the alleged incident was extremely traumatic for her and her family.’ Was it possible that the Channo singer’s intentionally or unintentionally might have caused her some distress?
To this, Ali retorted, “No. Never could that have happened because if it did she was a very close family friend, she used to come to our house, she was my wife’s friend.” He continued, “We had a concert together, and the jam that she’s talking about, that has a video and there were 10 witnesses and two witnesses out of that jam were women. They came out in the open and said that ‘we were there how could she even think and say this?’ I was hurt, since I’ve been working towards women empowerment.”
Many called the Sun Ve Balori singer’s accusations baseless and a publicity stunt. When asked what she possibly have to gain from it, Ali asserted, “What she has to gain from all of this is something I shouldn’t even be commenting on at this point.”
After Meesha’s allegations, many have come forward to boycott Teefa In Trouble. Does it worry Ali that his film may not do the business he might have expected?
“I don’t worry because when you know things and when you are on the right side and know the truth you don’t worry because falsehood by its nature is bound to perish,”Ali said.
In a photo uploaded on Twitter in April, Meesha had written, “I have been subjected to sexual harassment of a physical nature at the hands of a colleague from my industry: Ali Zafar. These incidences did not happen when I was young or just entering the industry. This happened to be despite the fact that I am an empowered, accomplished woman who is known for speaking her mind! This happened to me as a mother of two children.”
The Aya Lariye singer also added that this has been a very traumatic experience for her and her family. She further expressed, “Ali is someone I have known for many years and someone I shared the stage with. I feel betrayed by his behaviour and his attitude and I know that I am not alone.”
In a photo shared by Ali on Twitter, the singer wrote, “I categorically deny any and all claims of harassment lodged against me by Ms Shafi. I intend to take this through the courts of law and to address this professionally and seriously, rather than to lodge any allegations here.”
The actor-cum-singer also added that he would not like to “contest vendetta on social media” and disrespect the movement, his family, the media industry and his fans.
The case is still ongoing in court.
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