Malayalam actor-producer Vijay Babu accused of rape, naming the survivor

Actor and producer Vijay Babu found himself in trouble after he was slapped with two successive cases, including for rape, in as many days.

The first case was registered by Ernakulam South police on Tuesday on a petition filed by an upcoming actor who accused Babu of raping and physically assaulting her. In retaliation, he came on Facebook live on Wednesday morning and revealed the identity of the survivor claiming himself to be the victim.

“We have registered two cases against him. One for rape and the other for revealing the identity of the survivor. He is absconding,” said V.U. Kuriakose, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), Kochi City. He is reportedly abroad. The survovor had acted in one of the movies porduced by Babu’s production house Friday Film House and released on OTT last year.

Shortly after, Babu’s Facebook live, the survivor’s detailed statement was shared by multiple social media handles including that of Women Against Sexual Harassment and Women in Cinema Collective (WCC). In her statement she alleged Babu of sexually and physically assaulting her for over a month. “His modus operandi was pulling me into the trap with the role of a saviour-cum-friend-cum-lover thereafter intoxicating me and sexually abusing me….I was under his control and was scared to speak up because of his clout, influence and power he wielded in the industry,” the statement read.

The survivor also accused Babu of forcing her to use drugs and assaulting her for denying sex. He allegedly controlled her films and career and promised to marry her and offered roles when she resisted. Stating that she was too traumatised to realise that she was being raped, she urged all other women who had been similarly traumatised by Babu to come forward.

On his part, Babu claimed to have 400-odd screen shots of their social media interactions to prove that it was she who allegedly stalked him for over a year and that he wasn’t releasing them for the sake of her family and dear ones. He also alleged that behind the survivor there were people who wanted to see his downfall. “I am prepared to face the case for revealing the identity of the petitioner. I will file counter petition besides a defamation suit,” he said.

The WCC slammed the victim shaming and bemoaned that despite numerous committees such crimes are being perpetrated under the guise of professional equations and professional space.

“The right to arbitrate about who is a victim rests with the judiciary. An accused’s public shaming of the complainant is deplorable and punishable by law. Flaunting his presence online with such an act without turning himself into the judicial process seems to be an attempt to mock the judicial system. WCC urges the authorities to take stringent actions and hopes the Malayalam film industry will condemn these acts and clean up the workspace for women by distancing perpetrators,” read the statement posted with the hashtag #Avalkkoppam (with her).

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Printable version | Apr 27, 2022 4:00:09 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/malayalam-actor-producer-vijay-babu-accused-of-rape-naming-the-survivor/article65359592.ece