Singer Chinmayi Sripaada Names Poet Vairamuthu In #MeToo Story; Siddharth Tweets Support

Chinmayi Sripaada said that Vairamuthu tried to corner her twice in the last decade

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Singer Chinmayi Sripaada Names Poet Vairamuthu In #MeToo Story; Siddharth Tweets Support

A file photo of Chinmayi Sripaada at an award show. (Image courtesy: Facebook)


New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. After Chinmayi refused to 'cooperate,' she was told 'she won't have a car
  2. Chinmayi also shared stories of survivors against Vairamuthu
  3. South actor Siddharth backed Chinmayi

As #MeToo movement gathers momentum in India, playback singer Chinmayi Sripaada accused Tamil poet lyricist Vairamuthu of harassing her when they were both in Switzerland for an album launch or a book launch (she's not sure) in 2005 or 2006. Chinmayi Sripaada tweeted her #MeToo story after sharing stories of anonymous survivors for days. In a series of tweets, Chinmayi Sripaada alleged that Vairamuthu demanded she visited him at his hotel room after hours and when she refused to "cooperate," she and her mother were sent back to India with the event organiser's departing statement - "You won't have a career." Actor Siddharth, who has been proactively tweeting about the #MeToo movement catching up in the Indian film industry, also backed Chinmayi Sripaada and tweeted: "Multiple women are speaking out against #Vairamuthu. Without judging anyone, they must be heard. When somebody of Chinmayi's stature who has so much to lose, stands by the accusers, that's huge!"

Sharing her story on social media, the National Award-winning singer said: "Year 2005/2006 maybe... Veezhamattom, an album for Sri Lankan Tamizhs that I had sung in, as had Manikka Vinayagam sir... We went to Switzerland... We sang... We performed... Everyone left. Only my mother and I were asked to stay back. The organizer (I don't remember his name) asked me to visit Vairamuthu sir in a hotel in Lucerne. I asked why. He told me to cooperate. I refused. We demanded to be sent back to India. He said 'You won't have a career!' My mother and I both put our foot down... demanded an earlier flight to India and came back."

 

 

 

 

However, Chinmayi's tryst with Vairamuthu did not end after the Switzerland trip. A few years ago, when she refused to perform with Vairamuthu, the poet threatened to malign her name. "Three, maybe four years ago, he had a book release function and asked me to sing Tamizh Thaai Vaazhthu. I said I would be unable to. He in turn responded 'I'll tell (a politician) you spoke ill of him on stage, yelled at me and kept the phone down. I bawled. My parents-in-law consoled me. Then had the courage to call his manager back and told him 'I'll go and tell the same politician you're lying because I have NEVER given a political speech and HE will trust ME. This for refusing to sing. And you ask why victims don't name him?! To hell with those of you who do."

 

 

Vairamuthu was outed as an alleged sexual predator by several women on social media. Some harrowing accounts of survivors have been shared by Chimayi while many have been posted on Twitter by journalist Sandhya Menon, who has been posting #MeToo stories of several women.

 

 

A woman accused Vairamuthu of making a women's hostel, which he runs in Chennai, as his hunting ground. Chinmayi shared the story:

 

 

In the last few days, several actresses and female artistes have shared their #MeToo stories revealing prominent names such as Rajat Kapoor, Vikas Bahl and Kailash Kher among other as alleged sexual predators. Recently, writer Vinta Nanda recounted her account of being raped and harassed by a man, whom she identified as the lead actor on her show Tara. Twitter identified the actor as Alok Nath, who told ABP News he "neither accepted nor denied" the rape allegations.

Top film bodies are also taking proactive measures to make the industry a safer place for women and have also promised to respond proactively to complaints from survivors.

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