Sruthi Hariharan’s accusations of sexual harassment by Arjun Sarja were the first major #MeToo revelation in the Kannada film industry. The actor had accused the popular star of touching her inappropriately and also of making 'smutty innuendos' and giving 'salacious invitations to meet' after work on the sets of their bilingual 'Nibunan'-'Vismaya'. She had claimed all the gestures had made work environment ‘unpalatable’ for her. The latter had reacted by saying that none of the ‘60-70 actresses’ he has worked with has ever complained about him, adding that they all respected him and have kept in touch.
Now the 54-year-old has decided to take the legal route to clear his image after the controversy. A defamation suit demanding compensation of Rs 5 crore was filed by Arjun’s actor-nephew Dhruva Sarja on behalf of him in the Bengaluru City Civil Court yesterday. A section of the media also reported about a police complaint being filed against Sruthi.
Few hours after that, the two former co-stars came under the same roof too, though it not yet clear if they came face-to-face as well. A meeting was held at the Karnataka Film Chambers of Commerce to resolve the duo's conflict. According to reports, veteran actor Ambareesh spoke to both Sruthi and Arjun separately and heard their individual takes on the issue. But he was reportedly not successful in resolving the issue amicably. Apparently, Arjun demanded that Sruthi apologises in public, while the latter stood her ground and refused to do so. No clarity is available yet on her responses to the legal actions against her, but Sruthi released a statement which read, “I stand my ground and will always be there fighting for what I think is right.”
Previously, ‘Richie’ and ‘Milan Talkies’ fame Shraddha Srinath had come out in support of Sruthi and shared her own #MeToo story. She had also questioned all the ‘70 mm’ men, referring to the male superstars, on their silence on the controversy. Veteran actor Prakash Raj also tweeted his support to the actress.
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