Producer Ekta Kapoor and actors Anita Hassanandani and Krystle D'Souza on Saturday extended support to Pearl Puri, who has been arrested for allegedly raping a minor.
Puri, known for starring in Naagin 3 and Bepanah Pyaar, was arrested by the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar (MBVV) police on Friday after a complaint against him was lodged by the minor victim and her family members.
An FIR against him was registered at Waliv police station in Vasai and the 31-year-old actor has been booked under IPC section 376 (rape) and sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
In a lengthy Instagram post, Kapoor expressed shock over Puri's arrest and said the actor was being falsely framed by the girl's father.
"Will I support a child molesteror a molester of any kind? But what I witnessed from last night to now was the absolute low in human depravity," she captioned the post, along with a photo of her and Puri.
The producer, who has worked with the actor in the hit show Naagin 3, said the girl's mother told her that Puri was innocent. "After various calls with the childs/girl's mother, who openly said that Pearl was not involved and it's her husband trying to create stories to keep her child and prove that a working mother on a set cannot take care of her kid, she said.
Kapoor also said it is incorrect to frivolously use the #MeToo movement for personal gains.
If this is true then it is wrong on so many levels! Using an extremely important movement like Me Too' frivolously, to get your own agendas met with and mentally torturing a child and making an innocent person guilty. The producer said even though the judiciary will take the final decision in the case, her opinion is formed from the conversation she has had with the girl's mother.
It is very very sad if people are using various tactics to prove working mothers are unable to take care of their children, because there are predators on the set, she said. "If by chance, Pearl is proved innocent, I request people to look more deeply into how the important & much needed movements in today's time, are being used unfairly reducing the gravitas of the situation. May justice prevail! #MayJusticePrevail, Kapoor added.
She said she has all the voice notes and messages exchanged between her and the child's mother. Puri's co-stars Hassanandani and D'Souza too stepped forward to show their support.
Hassanandani said the news is nonsensical. "Woke up to some nonsensical news bout @pearlvpuri I know him! It is NOT true ... canNOT be true.... all lies. I'm sure there is more to it. And the truth will be out soon. Love you @pearlvpuri #ISTANDWITHPEARL," she wrote.
Terming the allegations baseless, D'Souza said the truth will come out. I know @pearlvpuri and he is one of the nicest boys I've met in our tv industry. A thorough gentleman. Please don't jump to conclusions on baseless allegations. Let's wait for the truth to come out. #istandwithpearl #PearlVPuri, she wrote.