"my intention was not to hurt other women."
Sonali Kulkarni has responded to the controversy surrounding her comments about Indian women.
The actress sparked outrage when she labelled Indian women “lazy”.
During an interview with Bhupenddra Singh Raathore, Sonali said she wanted to “cry” for her brothers, her husband and other men in society who are pressured to start earning at a young age.
Slamming women, Sonali said: “In India, we, at times, forget that a lot of women are just lazy.
“They want a boyfriend/husband, who earns well, owns a house, and his performance at work guarantees regular increments.
“But, in the middle of this, women forget to make a stand for themselves. Women don’t know what will they do.
“I urge everyone to encourage women and make them self-dependent.
“So that they are capable enough to share the household expenses with their partners.”
Her comments angered many, including the likes of Uorfi Javed, Sona Mohapatra and stand-up comedian Kajol Srinivasan.
Sonali Kulkarni has now broken her silence, apologising for her comments.
She took to Instagram to post a lengthy note, writing:
“Dear all, I’m overwhelmed with the feedback I’m receiving.
“I would like to thank all of you, especially the entire press and media for the extremely mature conduct of connecting with me.
“Being a woman myself, my intention was not to hurt other women.
“In fact, I have extensively expressed myself time and again in support of us and what is it being a woman.
“I’m grateful to all of you for reaching out to me personally to appreciate or to criticise. Hope we will be able to have more open exchange of thoughts.
“In my capacity, I am trying to think, support and share warmth not only with women but with the entire mankind.
“It will be only strengthening if we women with our vulnerabilities and wisdom shine through as fair and able beings.”
“If we are inclusive and empathetic, we will be able to create a healthier, happier place to be.
Expressing her apologies for the “pain” she caused, Sonali added:
“Having said that, if unknowingly, I may have caused pain, I want to apologise from the bottom of my heart.
“I do not thrive upon headlines neither do I want to be the centre of sensational situations.
“I’m a diehard optimist and I strongly believe that life indeed is beautiful.
“Thanks for your patience and support. I have learned a lot from this incident.”