#MeToo: 'Vairamuthu hugged me and kissed me'

#MeToo: 'Vairamuthu hugged me and kissed me'


In the wake of the #MeToo movement gaining ground in India, popular Tamil film lyricist Vairamuthu has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, who remain anonymous. These women shared their harrowing experience with popular playback singer Chinmayi Sripada and journalist Sandhya Menon who herself has accused her seniors in newspapers where she worked in the past of sexual misconduct.

Though none of the women have revealed their identity, Chinmayi, in a series of tweets, said in 17 years of her career, not one man in the industry across languages — Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada or Marathi, has misbehaved, indecently messaged her or touched her.

"My workplace is mostly clean, save for some bad apples. I call Vairamuthu (Sir) out alone and I dare. The staff at Vairamuthu sir’s office KNOW. His closest confidants know. They are also his enablers. Vairamuthu sir, you KNOW what you did. With due respect your #TimesUp. I don’t care if I ever sing or dub in this industry ever. This is my story. And this is the truth,” she wrote on Twitter.

Menon tweeted a screenshot of an anonymous account shared by a woman to her on social media, in which she accused Vairamuthu, who has penned songs for Tamil movies for decades, of hugging and kissing her, as she wrote — "hugged me and kissed me.”

“I did not (know) what to do. I said OK sir, thank you and ran from his house,” the woman said. Soon, there were several women, who chose to remain anonymous, and who accused him of sexual misconduct when they had gone to his residence for work.

There was no reaction from Vairamuthu, and he was not available for comments.

Though the film industry remained muted, Chinmayi found support from outspoken actor Siddharth who demanded that there should be an investigation into the allegations against Vairamuthu.

“Multiple women are speaking out against Kavignar #Vairamuthu. Without judging anyone, they must be heard. When somebody of @Chinmayi's stature, who has so much to lose, stands by the accusers, that's huge! There will be an investigation. First step #ListenToTheAccuser #MeToo #Timesup,” the actor tweeted.

Another Tamil actor Radha Ravi has also been accused of sexual harassment by a woman who remained anonymous. The woman accused Radha Ravi of kissing her when she had gone to his house for professional reasons.