"I have been pronounced guilty even before the investigation."
Vijay Raaz, who was arrested for allegedly molesting a female crew member on a film set, has now broken his silence.
The actor was arrested on November 2, 2020, after he allegedly molested the woman while on the set of Sherni, which stars Vidya Balan.
Vijay was later released on bail, however, his arrest led to the shooting of the film being postponed. He has since returned to the film’s set.
Now, Vijay has given his side of the story and has denied the accusations. He went on to say that the incident has tarnished his reputation.
He explained that he had apologised to the woman because he respected her feelings.
In an interview, he said: “Women’s safety is of prime concern. I have a 21-year-old daughter, so I understand the gravity of the situation.
“I am all for an investigation by the authorities.
“However, to ostracise me, suspend and terminate my services from my forthcoming films even before any sort of investigation, is shocking. I have no words to express.
“It’s a very dangerous place to be in. I have been working in the film industry for 23 years!”
Vijay Raaz stated that he has worked to build his reputation and that the accusations made by one person should not be seen as the truth.
“Anybody can sabotage anyone’s career? Kisine bol diya aur aapne maan liya that I am a harasser?
“People are bound to make judgements without hearing the other side of the story.
“No matter what the outcome of this case, aap pe ek thappa lag jaata hai (you’re branded for life).
“I have been pronounced guilty even before the investigation. My right to earn a livelihood is badly affected.
“Am I not the victim here? My old father who lives in Delhi also has to face the society and so does my young daughter.”
Vijay recalled the incident and revealed that he had been working with the same crew members for over a year and they developed a comfortable relationship with each other.
“I have been working with the same crew for over a year. We play cricket on set.
“It’s how we are with each other. Yet, when I was told she felt uncomfortable, I apologised. This was in front of the entire crew.”
“My apology meant I respect your feelings. But it didn’t mean that I acknowledged the claims made later at the police station.
“Saying sorry doesn’t always mean that you are wrong. It means you respect someone’s feelings more. I also have responsibilities and I need a job.
“Years of hard work can go down the drain if people jump to conclusions without verifying the claims. This should not be one-sided. Truth prevails but the damage is done.”
Vijay Raaz was last seen in Lootcase. He will next be seen in Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari, which releases on November 15, 2020.