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Actress Bhavana breaks silence on sexual assault: I wanted my dignity back

Chennai, March 6 (IANS) Actress Bhavana has said that she was devastated and wanted to get her dignity back after she was sexually assaulted five years ago.

In a live interview to a private YouTube channel, ‘The Mojo Story’, the noted actress spoke up, ending her five-year silence, and declared that she would give a strong fight without thinking about the outcome.

The actress, who had essayed prominent roles in Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu movies, said her family, including her husband, close relatives, friends and the general public had supported her during her traumatic period.

Bhavna said: “My dignity has been shredded to a million pieces.” It was sheer willpower that kept her going, she added. The actress said she felt lonely despite the strong support extended to her by her family and friends.

She recalled how she was in the courtroom for 15 days in 2020 from morning till evening. Each time a lawyer cross-examined her — and she was quizzed by a battery of seven lawyers — she had to prove that she was innocent.

Bhavana said the perpetrators were insulting her on social media after the traumatic incident and added that after the incident she was denied acting jobs in the Malayalam film industry. The notable exceptions were directors such as Ashik Abu and Shaji Kailas, actor-turned-director Prithviraj, and actor Jayasurya.

The actress was kidnapped in 2017 when she was returning home from a shooting location and was subjected to sexual assault by a gang of men.

The incident snowballed into a major controversy after the main accused, Pulsar Sunil, revealed that popular Malayalam actor Dileep was behind the assault. Dileep was arrested and is now on bail.

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