Chinmayi Sripaada accuses Vairamuthu of sexual harassment; lyricist denies charges

Anvisha Manral

Oct 09, 2018 10:21:36 IST

Editor's note: Following Rituparna Chatterjee's report — Is India’s #MeToo moment here? Women are angry and they are naming and shaming their abusers — Firstpost will publish a series of articles collating personal accounts of those who have made allegations of harassment, along with responses from those who have been accused of such behaviour. This is an ongoing exercise and will be updated to reflect new developments. If you wish to draw our attention to instances of harassment you may have experienced or witnessed, tweet to us @firstpost with the hashtag #MeToo.

Also read — #MeToo in India: KR Sreenivas, Gautam Adhikari respond to sexual harassment allegations

Also read — #MeToo in India: Writer Kiran Nagarkar, photographer Pablo Bartholomew named in harassment accusations

Also read — #MeToo in India: Allegations surface against Meghnad Bose, Ishrath Nawaz, Rameez Shaikh, Manoj Ramachandran

Also read — #MeToo in India: The Wire's founder Sidharth Bhatia denies allegations of harassment

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Women have been calling out their alleged harassers on social media, in a wave of #MeToo accounts that took over timelines in India last week.

Now, Tamil lyricist and poet Vairamuthu has been accused of sexually harassing women. Multiple, separate anonymous accounts were sent to journalist Sandhya Menon (@TheRestlessQuil) and singer Chinmayi Sripaada calling out Vairamuthu as an alleged predator. In a later tweet, Sripaada also accused the lyricist of sexual misconduct and intimidation.

Chinmayi Sripaada accuses Vairamuthu of sexual harassment; lyricist denies charges

Tamil lyricist Vairamuthu has been accused of sexual harassment by several women. Image via Twitter/@CinemaInbox

Vairamuthu has since then taken to Twitter to dismiss these allegations. His tweet is in Tamil, but translates to:

"It has become fashionable to cast aspersions on those who are popular. I have been shamed repeatedly in recent times. This is one of them. I dismiss anything other than truth. Truth will win."

 

The first accuser, who reached out to Menon, alleged that the lyricist forced himself on her when she was 18. He got uncomfortably close to her on the pretext of trying to explain the meaning of certain lyrics. Although the woman was compelled to work with him on several occasions, she would always be in a group to avoid a direct encounter.  

Sripaada, who was one of the first people to stand by the survivor, shared two accounts which accused Vairamuthu of sexual misconduct, apart from her own. In a statement given to Firstpost, she said there were other women who had corroborated the allegations in personal interactions but were afraid to speak out. The woman who reached out to Sripaada, is now scared that her career may be over. "I am sure he will not stay silent. He is politically connected. I don't know if I, myself, have a career left but I stand by the victims' account. I know this is true."

In a later tweet, Sripaada shared another such episode where Vairamuthu and an unnamed producer allegedly asked another female singer for sexual favours in exchange for a professional opportunity. The woman, shaken by the incident, decided to quit singing for films altogether.

Read part one, two, three, four, five, six, seven and eight of this series.

Updated Date: Oct 10, 2018 19:44:56 IST