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Akshay Kumar opens up about being molested as a six-year-old

At a seminar on women's safety on Thursday, the actor shocked the audience with a courageous testimony.

Our Correspondent

Not many actors, let alone action heroes, have the courage to speak about child sexual abuse. Fewer still would open up about having gone through it. Akshay Kumar's admission of being molested at the tender age of six shocked quite a few people at a seminar on women's safety on Thursday, 27 July. The seminar was also attended by Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Speaking to the daily Mumbai Mirror, Akshay Kumar said, "When I was a child, my parents always encouraged me to speak to them frankly about everything. Whether it was discussing a sexual issue or inappropriate behaviour, I was asked to come home and talk frankly. When I was six, I was on my way to a neighbour’s house when the lift-man touched my butt. I was really agitated and told my father [Hari Om Bhatia] about it. He filed a police complaint. Investigations revealed that the lift-man was a history-sheeter. The cops took action and he was arrested.”

Recently, actors Rahul Bose and Vidya Balan tried to raise awareness on child sexual abuse by launching an NGO, HEAL.

Akshay Kumar explained that he wished to speak about the incident to encourage people to share their experiences of abuse. The actor added, “I was a shy kid, but I was relieved that I could speak about this to my parents. But even today, I find it difficult to say the word ‘bum’.We must encourage women and children to speak up and tell their families if they encounter anything strange, so that they can be protected and empowered.”

The actor is currently awaiting the release of Shree Narayan Singh's Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, another social drama that revolves around the need for safe toilet facilities for women in the country. The film has already received support from the Indian government, with prime minister Narendra Modi praising the efforts of the cast and crew.

Toilet: Ek Prem Katha will be released on 11 August.