Meesha Shafi had accused actor Ali Zafar of sexual advances and in return Ali Zafar has filed a defamation suit against the singer in a district court in Lahore, Pakistan.
Pakistani singer and actor Ali Zafar has not been in favourable light as of late. Two months ago, the ‘Mere Brother Ki Dulhan’ actor had been accused of sexually harassing fellow Pakistani singer-actor Meesha Shafi. Meesha made this shocking revelation on Twitter and since then things have not been easy for Ali. In her eye-opening statement Meesha accused Ali of physically harassing her on more than one occasion.
Sharing this because I believe that by speaking out about my own experience of sexual harassment, I will break the culture of silence that permeates through our society. It is not easy to speak out.. but it is harder to stay silent. My conscience will not allow it anymore #MeToo pic.twitter.com/iwex7e1NLZ
— MEESHA SHAFI (@itsmeeshashafi) April 19, 2018
As a reply Ali tweeted, “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.”
After denying Meesha’s claims, Ali further wrote, “I intend to take this through the courts of law, and to address this professionally and seriously rather than to lodge any accusations here.,”
Standing tall to his claims Ali Zafar has filed a defamation suit against Meesha Shafi in a district court in Lahore, Pakistan. The defamation suit filed under the Defamation Ordinance 2002 claims damages of Rs 1 Billion!
The notice breaks down the Rs 1 Billion damages and states, “Be that as it may, that due to the defamatory campaign being spearheaded by the defendant, the plaintiff besides special damages in case of defamation further suffered the following damages: Mental torture Rs 2 crore, Loss of contacts Rs 8 crore, Loss of reputation/goodwill Rs 50 crore, Loss of business opportunities Rs 40 crore.”
According to Pakistan’s Geo News Ali through the notice stated that Meesha through her ‘false, slanderous and defamatory’ allegations has caused a ‘tremendous injury’ to his ‘reputation, goodwill and livelihood’.
The notice further reads, “As the defamatory statements are patently false, it can only be concluded that this malicious campaign has been launched against the plaintiff as part of a motivated conspiracy to tarnish the plaintiff’s good image through making false accusations,”
As per the suit, singer Meesha Shafi ‘has associated herself with the global #MeToo movement, with one of the launchers of the #MeToo movement ‘Rose McGowan’ labeling the defendant as ‘a heroine for our times’.”
The notice also states that singer Meesha Shafi should use Twitter as the social media platform on which she accused Ali Zafar of sexually harassing her to issue an apology proclaiming the fellow singer’s innocence.
Meesha Shafi was informed about the defamation suit and given a period of grace to delete the tweet accusing Ali Zafar of sexual harassment along with issuing an apology to the singer. Clearly, Meesha has chosen to stick to her claims.
Just like Hollywood, Bollywood and numerous other industries around the world is awakening to the ‘Weinstein Effect’ including Pakistan. Meesha Shafi’s voice was one of the voices that created a ripple across the border.