When it comes to celebrities, people tend to believe that the stars are not vulnerable to sexual harassment. So actress Adhiti’s recent allegations of sexual harassment and attempt to end her own life have come as a huge shock to everyone.
Adhiti attempted suicide in Chennai and had to be admitted to the ICU of a private hospital after she was allegedly tortured by film director Selva Kannan. Adhiti is playing a pivotal role in the debutante director’s a new movie Nedunalvaadai.
Adhiti aka Athira Santhosh (21), an Idukki native, talks to Onmanorama about what forced her to take the extreme step: ”I got this offer last October and signed my first film in Tamil. When the shoot began, there were issues between the director and hero Amjith and the latter backed off from the project. A new hero was being auditioned and thus the shoot got delayed. In between, I began to get offers for other projects.
”Meanwhile, the director developed a onesided affection and he proposed me. He was like a father figure to me and it was hard to see him in any other way. Initially when I rejected his advances, he started pleading with me, then he fought with me, and later started behaving rudely and even assaulted me.
‘He even locked me up’
”However, I was unable to walk away from the movie as I had already taken an advance for it. I thought I will somehow manage to finish the shoot, but his torture was unbearable. Once, he even locked me up in a room. But other people intervened and helped me,” she added.
“After that for about two days, we had shooting and I left the location as I had other projects. But he didn’t stop. He started sending me threat messages, warning me he will talk to the media and ruin my career.
”I was doing an ad shoot, and he along with three to four people came at that location and created a scene. After such repeated incidents, I couldn’t bear any more embarrassment and there came a point when I thought such things happen only if I exist.
That made me take such a step but my friends came to my rescue and took me for treatment.
For two days, my health condition was really bad and I was in the ICU. Later after counseling sessions, I regained my health and reached back home.”
”I believe that the director has done this as a means of publicity, a method to promote the film. Else, I don’t think he had to create such an issue. At least fourfive times, he created embarrassing situations in public. Each time, I went to the police station and even filed a complaint but no action was taken.
I had also informed (actor) Vishal about the situation and he assured me of all possible help. All I wanted was to get out of this trouble and finish my projects.”
”In the meantime, I did two films, of which one will be releasing on the 14th of this month. Some other projects that I had signed earlier are still pending.
As of now, I want to work peacefully. Someone like me who left a job at Infopark and came into the limelight with a reality show and a TV serial without any godfathers in the industry, needs to focus on my career rather than getting involved in such incidents.”
Selvakannan denies Adhiti’s accusations
When contacted, director Selvakannan denied Adhiti’s claims that he ‘misbehaved’ with her. ”It’s a totally false allegation. After we wrapped up the first schedule of the film’s shoot, she got an offer to star in another film and because of that she didn’t show the desired level of commitment,” said Selvakannan. The director, in turn, alleged that Adhiti did not turn up for the shoot and remained out of touch.
This paved way for arguments and we lodged complaints with the Producers’ Guild as well as with the Directors’ Association. ”This was what happened; this being the case, Adhiti has been wrongly accusing me of attempting to threaten her and forcing her to get married to me. It is wrong on her part to say that I tried to misbehave with her,” said Selvakannan.