Months after the alleged sex scandal involving her with Swami Nithyananda broke out, South Indian film actor Ranjitha made her first public appearance on Friday and denied she was the woman in the much-hyped video.
Addressing a press conference in Bangalore, Ms. Ranjitha described the entire video tape episode as a “perverted move” by certain vested interests, including politicians.
Claiming that she had been made a scapegoat because she was a celebrity, the actor said she had started visiting the Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam on the outskirts of Bangalore a little over a year ago after she was impressed by the yoga, meditation and other spiritual activities taking place in the ashram.
Hurt by report
Ms. Ranjitha, who appeared before the media at a wedding hall on Magadi Road in the city along with her advocates, said she had seen all clippings that were aired in television channels.
“I and my family have been hurt by the media reports,” she said.
Reacting to the Hyderabad-based Forensic Sciences Laboratory report that the video was genuine, Ms. Ranjitha said she cannot go by the FSL reports. “I know that the woman in the tapes was not me.”
Referring to reports in a section of the media that she was absconding, Ms. Ranjitha said she was a woman with ordinary fears and had been receiving threatening calls from vested interests, who were behind the entire episode. “Hence, I took time to appear before the media and lodge a complaint.”
Besides, the actor said she was abroad between March 3 and June 14. “After my return, I met Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officials and completed the pending investigation process.”
Fielding queries from journalists, Ms. Ranjitha alleged that “a Christian missionary and some vested interests, including politicians” were behind the entire episode.
“I was threatened not to speak about the tapes. Vested interests have been threatening me not to divulge any information.”
She offered to reveal everything to the media only if Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi ensured her security. “I want to live for some more years. Hence, I am not revealing the names of the people who are behind the incident. If Mr. Karunanidhi assures me security against the threat, then I can disclose the details.”
“If time permits and if Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam in Bidadi agrees, I will attend Nithyananda's birthday on Saturday,” she said.
Earlier on Thursday evening, the actor lodged a complaint against Nithayananda's driver Lenin Karuppan, a former follower Arathi Rao and an advocate Sridhar in the Ramanagaram court under several sections of Indian Penal Code, including criminal intimidation, extortion and bid to outrage the modesty of a woman.
The hearing was adjourned to January 29, 2011.
Meanwhile, another woman follower of Nithyananda has also filed a complaint against Lenin Karuppan.