- "Do not let the nonbelievers stop you," wrote Somy Ali
- "Do not ever be afraid to speak your truth," she urged
- "This's a moment that has been long overdue for all of us," read her post
Three years before India's #MeToo movement, former actress Somy Ali revealed she had been sexually assaulted as a child. Now, she has written a powerful Instagram post as a 'salute' to survivors who are speaking up and urging them not to be discouraged by 'non-believers.' Ms Ali, who runs the charitable foundation No More Tears, writes that she knows how difficult it is to speak about abuse and that it took her a long time to reveal that she had been assaulted at the ages of five and 14.
Many of the survivors of alleged abuse, harassment and assault who have spoken out in the past few weeks have been asked why they didn't do so earlier. Somy Ali writes, "Do not let the nonbelievers stop you. This is your truth. Do not ever be afraid to speak your truth. Do not let this opportunity pass you. This is a moment that has been long overdue for all of us. This is your chance to be heard and finally obtain justice. I believe you."
Read her post:
As a survivor of sexual abuse at the age of 5 and rape at 14, I would like to salute all those that have spoken up and plan on doing so. I know it is very difficult to do it because I have been there and it took me many years to be able to talk about it. It takes immense amount of courage to share this with the world. It's even harder when you tell those that are close to you and they are supposed to protect you, yet they do nothing. I have been there too and it hurts like hell. But I want these survivors to know it is truly liberating and completely worth it. Do not let the nonbelievers stop you. This is your truth. Do not ever be afraid to speak your truth. Do not let this opportunity pass you. This is a moment that has been long overdue for all of us. This is your chance to be heard and finally obtain justice. I believe you. . . . . #metoo #ibelieveyou #somyali #speakup #shoutitout #iamwithyou #survivors #truth #takeastand #staystrong #wecandoit #justice #longoverdue #pakistan #india #bollywood
In a separate video message, Somy Ali made a special mention of actress Tanushree Dutta who renewed a decade-old harassment allegation against actor Nana Patekar some three weeks ago, after which survivor after survivor has come forward with stories of trauma. Mr Patekar has sent Ms Dutta a legal notice demanding she apologise - however, he has also had to step down his work-in-progress film Housefull 4. "A special thanks Tanushree Dutta for initiating the biggest movement in the history of South Asia," wrote Ms Ali. In another video, she added: "No means no."
Thank you to All the brave #metoo survivors! A special thanks @iamtanushreeduttaofficial for initiating the biggest movement in the history of South Asia. . . . . #bollywood #india #pakistan #longoverdue #justice #somyali #tanushreedutta #metooindia #metoo #metoopakistan #lollywood #abouttime
In 2015, Somy Ali revealed to mid-day that a domestic help molested her when was five. She also writes of being raped at 14 in her Instagram post.
Somy Ali, who is of Pakistani birth, had only a brief stint in Bollywood, during which time she reportedly dated actor Salman Khan. Ms Ali was also allegedly physically abused by the superstar.
The #MeToo movement has so far seen several prominent film personalities outed as alleged predators, among them Nana Patekar's Housefull 4 director Sajid Khan who has also exited the project. Filmmakers Vikas Bahl and Subhash Ghai, actor Alok Nath - who, accused of rape, is now suing for defamation - and singer Kailash Kher have also been hit by #MeToo allegations, as have others.
Yash Raj Films today announced it had sacked a top executive who has been accused of inappropriate behaviour by an aspiring actress.
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