(Trigger warning: Mentions of sexual assault)
The Ernakulam South Police has registered a case against Malayalam actor-producer Vijay Babu for alleged sexual assault based on a complaint received on 22 April.
The actor is charged under the IPC sections 376 (sexual assault), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt). The woman, a resident of Kozhikode, alleged that Vijay sexually assaulted her in Kochi and accused Vijay of commiting the offence on the pretext of offering roles in his movies.
The police have issued a lookout notice for actor Vijay Babu who has reportedly absconded and a search is said to have begun outside Kerala. According to the police, the sexual assault occurred in April and the woman did undergo a medical test.
Vijay hosted a Facebook Live after the allegations surfaced.
Vijay Babu Names Victim on FB Live, Ready to Face Consequences
According to a report in Onmanorama, Vijay called himself the ‘victim’ in the situation and even named the complainant, in violation of the law. The actor had said that he is ready to face the consequences of the same and claimed that he is scripting a 'new chapter in #MeToo'. A case has also been registered against Vijay Babu with the Ernakulam South Police for naming the survivor.
The #MeToo movement has enabled several victims of abuse and assault to speak up against the perpetrators.
Vijay said he'll file a defamation suit and counter-case against the woman and won't let her 'get away easily'. The actor said that the complainant auditioned with him for a role and got it. He claimed that he has known the woman since 2018 but 'never chatted with her' from 2018 to 2021.
"I respect the law of the land but here I am the victim and my name has come out. So why shouldn't the other party's name come out too," Vijay said.
He claimed that he has 'all the proof' to back up his claims but doesn't want to negatively affect her family. "I'm answerable only to my wife, mother, sister and friends. And I don't want this to end with a piece of small news saying, 'Vijay Babu found not guilty'," Vijay Babu said.
A producer had also filed a complaint against the actor alleging assault in 2017. The complaint was later withdrawn. Vijay, then too, put up a Facebook post denying the allegations. The actor is the founder of a film production company 'Friday Film House'.