A Mumbai court acquitted the Indian movie star shilpa shetty of the accusations of “obscenity and indecency” that were imputed to him since 2007 for allowing himself to be hugged and kissed by the American actor Richard Gere, at a fundraising gala for the fight against AIDS.
The attitude of the actors had scandalized radical Hindu groups in India and had provoked demonstrations alleging that both artists had harmed the values and culture of India. Among the actions set fire in the squares images of movie stars.
Following multiple complaints of obscenity and indecency, an Indian judge had issued arrest warrants against the two stars.
Charges against Richard Gere were quickly dropped, and the actor – one of the world’s best-known Buddhists – was allowed to travel to India to meet the Dalai Lama.
However, the attacks on Shilpa Shetty remained in India’s legal system until they were dropped by a Bombay court last week, 15 years later, stating the allegations “unfounded”.
The Bollywood star came to be detained at the Mumbai airport for questioning. Shilpa, who was flying to Berlin at the time, broke down in tears as she was arrested at the airport by immigration officials who had been ordered not to allow either actor to leave the country. After a long interrogation he was finally able to leave India.
According to the court’s decision made public on Tuesday, “Shilpa Shetty was a victim of the alleged act of Defendant #1 (Richard Gere)”indicates the order.
Shilpa Shetty, 46, did not comment on the ruling.
According to images from the time, Shetty and Gere, invited to an act on AIDS in India, went on stage, where suddenly Richard Gere kissed the actress’s hand and then hugged her and gave her several kisses on the cheeks.
“She did not protest when she was kissed by the co-defendant,” explained the actress’s lawyer, “But this does not make her a conspirator or the perpetrator of any crime.”
In 2007, Shilpa Shetty defended Richard Gere’s attitude and blamed the “lunatic fringe” from India. For his part, the American actor apologized for his behavior.
In addition, the actress was also victim of racism while working on the British reality show Celebrity Big Brother.
(With information from AFP)
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15 years later, Indian actress Shilpa Shetty was acquitted for allowing herself to be kissed on the cheek by Richard Gere