The #TimesUp and #MeToo movements have taken over the world by storm. After Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and other big names from their industry were accused of sexual harassment at the workplace, women around the world have come out with their harassment stories. After taking down big names in the industry, the movement has reached Pakistan. In the shocking turn of events, last week, Pakistani actress and singer Meesha Shafi accused singer Pakistani heartthrob Ali Zafar of sexual harassment. From her detailed post, she recalled the harassment experience and hoped that her experience will inspire other women to come forward with their stories. She has accused Ali Zafar of harassment on more than one occasion. While Ali has clearly denied all the allegations and plans to take the legal route, his band members Kanza Munir and Aqsa Ali have come out in support of him.
Now, a source has said that Rs 100 crores legal notice has been sent by Ali Zafar to Meesha Shafi. Ali is seeking an apology from the singer. If not provided, then she will have to pay the money. A defamation suit will be filed against her if she fails to delete the original post stating allegations against the actor-singer within the two weeks of the notice being served.
A day after the legal notice was reportedly sent, Meesha Shafi revealed that she has appointed Muhammad Ahmad Pansota and Nighat Dad as legal counsels. “I have appointed Barrister @pansota1 and @nighatdad as my legal counsels to look after all issues pertaining to my sexual harassment claim against Ali Zafar. Media is requested to contact them to get any update on the ongoing issue,” she tweeted on Tuesday.
Ali Zafar’s official statement read as, “I am deeply aware and in support of the global #MeToo movement and what it stands for. I am the father of a young girl and a young boy, a husband to a wife and a son to a mother. I am a man that has stood up for myself, my family, my colleagues and friends countless times in the face of slander, defamation and general unkindness. I will do the same today. I have nothing to hide. Silence is absolutely not an option.
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, contesting personal vendettas on social media and in turn disrespecting the movement, my family, the industry and my fans. Ultimately I am a strong believer that the truth, always prevails.”
Ali Zafar has not only been a heartthrob in Pakistan but has extensively worked in Bollywood. He starred in several films including Tere Bin Laden, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, London Paris New York, Total Siyapaa, Kill Dill and Dear Zindagi.