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In a rather shocking development, a female singer has accused the noted Tamil lyricist Vairamuthu of sexually exploiting her a few years ago. The lady revealed that the veteran poet had tried to kiss her and effectively scarred her for life. She also described the incident as the 'worst experience' of her life. The singer added that she still hasn't told her husband about the incident, as he might stop her from pursuing her career any further.
The lady also made it clear that several people in the industry are aware of Vairamuthu's 'predatory' actions, but they have never done anything about it.
The complainant's good friend and noted singer Chinmayi shared screenshots of the messages she had sent her and condemned Vairamuthu for his alleged actions. Chinmayi, however, refused to reveal her friend's name.
"I cannot stop shaking. My Friend will remain anonymous.@vairamuthu Why people cannot share at the risk of their careers.And bloody hell #MeToo!!" she added.
Shortly, thereafter, she sharted her own experience with Vairamuthu and levelled allegations against him. She claimed that he had threatened to destroy her career when she refused to sing for him.
Year 2005/2006 maybe.— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) October 9, 2018
Veezhamattom. An album for Srilankan Tamizhs that I had sung in, as had Manikka Vinayagam sir.
I dont remember if it was a book or an album release or both now; the performances and launch happened in Switzerland in (Bern / Zurich maybe)
We sang. We went to Switzerland. We performed.— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) October 9, 2018
Everyone left. Only my mother and I were asked to stay back.
The organizer(I dont remember his name) asked me to visit Vairamuthu sir in a hotel in Lucerne.
I asked why. He told me to cooperate. I refused. We demanded to be sent back to India. He said ‘You wont have a career!’— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) October 9, 2018
My mother and I both put our foot down, career vendam mannum vendam. Demanded an earlier flight to India and came back.
Then had the courage to call his manager back & told him ‘I ll go and tell the same politician you re lying because I have NEVER given a political speech and HE will trust ME.— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) October 9, 2018
This for refusing to sing.
And you ask why victims dont name him?!
To hell with those of you who do.
In 17 years not one man in the industry across languages Hindi Tamil Telugu Malayalam Kannada Marathi has misbehaved.— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) October 9, 2018
Not one man has indecently messaged me or touched me.
My work place is mostly clean save for some bad apples.
I call Vairamuthu (Sir) out alone and I dare.
Responding to these claims, Vairamuthu hit back at Chinmayi and implied there was no truth behind her claims. Following this, Chinmayi called him a 'liar'.
Interestingly, of late several women have been coming forward to share their harassment stories and shame the offenders. Certain sections of the media have dubbed this as 'India's #MeToo movement'. Several popular names from Bollywood, such as the Kaala star Nana Patekar and director Rajat Kapoor, have been accused of wrongdoings.
Sexual exploitation in the workplace is a sensitive issue and let's hope that these revelations go a long way in improving the situation.