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Chalapathi Rao statement on women stirs controversy; case filed against actor

The Telugu actor and producer earned the wrath of social media and women in the film industry after making lewd comments at an audio launch in Hyderabad.

Manigandan KR

Telugu actor Chalapathi Rao found himself in the midst of a controversy after he made a deragatory statement on women at the audio launch function of Rarandoi Veduka Chuddam, a Telugu film which features actors Nag Chaitanya and Rakul Preet Singh in the lead.

Sources present on the occasion say that Chalapathi Rao made the statement in response to a question from an anchor of the event held in Hyderabad.

When asked if girls were a disturbance to mental peace, Rao is believed to have replied, 'What can I say if you ask like that? Women are not a disturbance but are useful to sleep with.'

Chalapathi Rao's statement has triggered a storm with several women's organisations taking offence to it.

At least two police complaints have been lodged against him by women's groups. One was at Saroor Nagar Police station and the other was at the Jubilee Hills police station in Hyderabad.

The cops have booked the actor under Sections 354(A) and 500 of the IPC.

Soon after Chalapathi Rao's statement went viral on the internet and invited the ire of those on social media, even those who had worked with him in the film quickly distanced themselves from his statement.

Actor Nag Chaitanya tweeted, "Respecting women is a way of life for me. The reactions shown on TV weren't for the statement made.Do I agree with it ?Absolutely NOT !"

Rakul Preet, who reacted to the statement a lot later, issued a statement, clarifying her stand. She said that she was unaware of the meaning of his words and that is why she hadn't reacted to the statement earlier. The actress claimed that she would have responded on the stage itself, had she understood the demeaning words he had used regarding women.

Condemning the statement, the actress said that she felt that Chalapathi Rao, being a senior member in the Telugu film fraternity, must know his age and behave accordingly.

Naga Chaitanya's dad Nagarjuna, too, made his stand clear on the issue. He tweeted, 'I always respect women personally and in my films/I definitely do not agree wt Chalapati rao's derogatory comments/dinosaurs do not exist!!'

The producer has since apologised on his Facebook posts calling it a 'slip of tongue'. He even put up a video relating to his apology, but the criticism has not stopped.