- "Thank you Meesha Shafi for your courage," read a tweet
- "Reminded me of a story about Ali Zafar from years ago," read another
- "You're not alone," said another tweet
"In the many years I have known Ali, he has on several occasions crossed boundaries of what is appropriate behaviour between friends," Ms Ghani wrote in her statement. "In such cases, women like myself run from a situation and hope to God you never cross paths again. And when by some misfortune you do, you hide from him," she added. Read her full account below.
Thank you @itsmeeshashafi for your courage and your bravery. It's never easy. But that should never silence us. I am in total solidarity with you. You are not alone in this because #Metoo#TimesUp#WeBelieveYoupic.twitter.com/hkQ61bqnFH— Leena (@Leena_Ghani) April 19, 2018
Maham Javaid (whose Twitter bio says she's a journalist), responded to Meesha Shafi's tweet and alleged sometime between 2004-2005, Ali Zafar attempted to kiss her cousin. "So, Meesha Shafi's brave sharing of her experience reminded me of a story about Ali Zafar from many, many years ago, when Ali Zafar tried to kiss my cousin and pull my cousin into a restroom with him. Luckily my cousin's friends were there to push Ali Zafar off," read one of her tweets.
Here's what she wrote in her tweets:
So @itsmeeshashafi's brave sharing of her experience reminded me of a story about @AliZafarsays from many many years ago, when Ali Zafar tried to kiss my cousin and pull my cousin into a restroom with him. Luckily my cousin's friends were there to push Ali Zafar off https://t.co/kBQbBiwyFP— Maham Javaid (@JMaham) April 19, 2018
This was on a boat on the way to a party at the Yacht Club between 2004-2005. Why don't I remember the date? Bc this is what's crazy: in those days such sexual harassment was such a non issue and simultaneously such a taboo that we hardly spoke about it— Maham Javaid (@JMaham) April 19, 2018
We didn't even think of telling anyone, apart from friends, or reporting him because "he's a celebrity, no one would possibly care or listen". And tbh over the years we forgot the story ourselves, until today. Thanks @itsmeeshashafi for reminding us that our stories matters— Maham Javaid (@JMaham) April 19, 2018
On Thursday, Ali Zafar denied the allegations made by Meesha Shafi, writing: "I have nothing to hide. Silence is absolutely not an option." In his statement, he also added: "I categorically deny any and all claims of harassment lodged against me by Ms Shafi." Meesha Shafi, a mother of two, alleged sexual abuse and also accused Ali of being a repeat offender. "I have been subjected, on more than one occasion, to sexual harassment of a physical nature at the hands of a colleague from my industry: Ali Zafar," read a part of her statement. Read their tweets here.
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 #MeToopic.twitter.com/iwex7e1NLZ— Meesha Shafi (@itsmeeshashafi) April 19, 2018
Meesha Shafi is the star of several Pakistani shows and also featured in Mira Nair's film The Reluctant Fundamentalist. In Bollywood, she was also seen in 2013's Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, in which Ms Shafi was cast as a swimmer competing in the Olympics.
Ali Zafar has several Bollywood films on his resume and has worked with actresses like Alia Bhatt in Dear Zindagi, Katrina Kaif in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, Taapsee Pannu in Chashme Baddoor, Parineeti Chopra in Kill Dil and Yami Gautam in Total Siyapaa.
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