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Aishwarya Rai Bachchan on #MeToo: I Spoke in the Past, I am Speaking Now
From the Webdesk, 10/10/2018, Mumbai

With #MeToo finally reaching Bollywood, female actors, directors, producers and others are finally opening up about their horrific experiences of sexual harassment and physical abuse. 

Several celebs, including Sonam Kapoor, Swara Bhaskar, Twinkle Khanna and Priyanka Chopra, are supporting the movement and the survivors. The latest star to join them is celebrated actor and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

One of the few women who have publicly spoken about her abusive relationship, Aishwarya on Monday said, “I have always spoken out. I spoke in the past, I am speaking now, and I will continue to speak.”
She also credited social media for enabling women to voice their stories. "Social media has enabled the conversation and any woman who comes from any part of the world today has a voice that will be heard,” she said at the launch of L'Oreal Paris X Sabyasachi Calcutta.

Saying that there is no right or wrong time to share stories of abuse and call out the guilty, she added, “When it comes to helping women find their voice, find the strength, feel confident about sharing their stories, it’s not about the current time. This has been going on since a lot of time and I am glad it has found a certain momentum today.”

In 2002, Aishwarya accused Salman Khan of cheating and misbehaving with her. On the alleged physical abuse, she had then said, "After we broke up, he (Salman) would call me and talk rubbish. There were times when Salman got physical with me, luckily without leaving any marks. And, I would go to work as if nothing had happened."

Aishwarya and Salman reportedly got into a relationship while shooting Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 1999 film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. When things started to get rough between the two, they finally called it quits in March 2002. 

The #MeToo movement snowballed in India after Tanushree Dutta accused Nana Patekar and Ganesh Acharya of sexual harassment on the sets of their 2008 film Horn OK Pleassss. Lately, several celebs, including Vikas Bahl, Gursimran Khamba, Utsav Chakraborty and Alok Nath, have been accused of sexual crimes ranging from harassment to rape.


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