LAHORE: In a statement before the additional sessions’ court judge on Monday, singer Meesha Shafi said that fellow singer-actor Ali Zafar sexually harassed her multiple times.
“First time it was at the house of the plaintiff’s father-in-law where he (Ali) sexually harassed me,” Ms Shafi said in her testimony before the court during the hearing of a defamation suit against her, filed by Zafar.
She also submitted before the court copies of her tweets through which she reported the incidents of sexual harassment at the hands of the plaintiff.
Ms Shafi said she along with her husband visited the house of the plaintiff’s father-in-law to attend a social gathering.
She said Zafar groped her inside the house while her husband was outside with his friends.
The singer said she told her husband about the incident, however, stopped him from any immediate reaction. “I was scared and confused. I did not want any fight,” she said, adding that her husband was a trained boxer.
About the alleged incident that occurred during a jamming session, Ms Shafi said she remained under trauma for several months after the incident.
She said that she had told her manager about the incident and also the contract manager of Pepsi about refusing to continue working with the plaintiff.
She said it was not a planned move to make public the incidents of sexual harassment. “I spoke for my protection only,” she added.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Amjad Ali Shah adjourned the hearing of the suit till Dec 20 when counsel of Zafar will cross examine Ms Shafi.
A post-hearing tweet by Ms Shafi read as, “Gave my full and complete statement. If this was about fame or greed, or running away, I wouldn’t be here today. I could’ve easily been sitting in front of my fireplace in Toronto with my beautiful children.”
Shafi’s mother Saba Hameed, project manager Farhan Ali and senior actor Iffat Omar have already recorded their statements in the case.
In his suit, Zafar said Shafi through a tweet leveled baseless allegations of sexual harassment against him, which tarnished his image in public while his family faced agony and pain. He asked the court to issue a decree against Ms Shafi directing her to pay Rs1 billion as damages to him. The court also is seized with a defamation suit by Ms Shafi against Zafar.
Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2019