NEWS
09/10/2018 5:33 PM IST | Updated 13 hours ago

Aishwarya Rai Says #MeToo Movement Long Due, Now Have To Keep The Momentum Going

The actor, who has spoken in the past about being in an abusive relationship with Salman Khan, told HuffPost India that social media is helping survivors find their voice.

The actor said there wasn't a right or a wrong time for women to come forward.
- via Getty Images
The actor said there wasn't a right or a wrong time for women to come forward.

As Bollywood grapples with its own moment of reckoning, more and more top stars are coming forward to share their support for survivors who are recounting difficult stories of sexual assault.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who has spoken in the past about being in an abusive relationship with Salman Khan, said in a conversation with HuffPost India that she hopes the momentum keeps going.

She also said she has always spoken about it vociferously but said that now, these stories were being heard more consciously due to heightened gender sensitivity.

At an event to launch the new L'Oréal Paris collection, which has been curated by designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Rai made it a point to assert her support for the movement.

She said, "I have always spoken out, I spoke in the past, I am speaking now, and I will continue to speak," she said.

She also said that there wasn't a right or a wrong time for women to come forward.

She said, 'When it comes to helping women find their voice, find the strength, feel confident about sharing their stories, it's not about the current time. This has been going on since a lot of time and I am glad it has found a certain momentum today."

On Saturday, HuffPost India published an account of a survivor who said Queen director Vikas Bahl sexually assaulted her in 2015 and that his partners at Phantom Films knew about the incident but did nothing.

Last month, actor Tanushree Dutta accused Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her 10 years ago. More stories have emerged from the media and entertainment industries since then.

Rai also credited social media platforms for helping survivors find their voice.

"Social media has enabled the conversation and any woman who comes from any part of the world today has a voice that will be heard," she said.

The actor refrained from commenting on specific cases such as those of Bahl and Alok Nath but said that "the #MeToo movement has been the need of the hour since time immemorial and I hope together we keep the momentum going. At the same time, if a case gets sub judice, we have to respect the law of the land".

About her association with Sabyasachi for L'Oréal Paris, the actor spoke about how similar their sense of aesthetics were, which made it easier for her to be part of this new association.

"For me, choosing Sabya is a very obvious choice and I am glad his designs have been a part of many milestones in my career," she said.