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Women haven't yet developed courage to speak against sexual harassment: Sunny Leone

The Tera Intezaar actress also spoke about the need for women to build up courage to speak up against sexual predators in the Hindi film industry.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Our Correspondent

With reports and allegeations of sexual harassment in Hollywood increasing with every day, there have been similar testimonies coming out from the world of Hindi cinema as well. While several actresses have confessed to going through traumatic experiences, no names have been taken or accusations levelled. Actress Sunny Leone believes that women haven't yet developed the 'courage' to do so in India. 

In an interview to the online magazine, Firstpost.com, Leone said, "As a woman, you either stand up for yourself, or maybe you haven’t quite mustered the confidence to do that as yet, or after hearing all these stories which are in the news, maybe now it feels okay for women to say 'This is wrong. I don’t want this. Screw your job, go find somebody else'. But the problem is that they don’t yet have that courage here." 

However, the actress added that the growing trend of women speaking up bodes well. "Now because everybody is speaking out, we will have a lot of young women having the courage to do so as well. I’m proud of all the women who have taken a stand," she added. 

The actress, who made a transition from working in the adult film industry to Hindi cinema, also spoke about facing threats and moral policing, from people who tried to prevent her from working in India.

She said, "Yes, I do feel like an outsider in the film fraternity. But I feel I've been accepted by my fans. When I came here, everybody said, ‘Oh no, you need to go’. That was expected considering I was from the 'outside' and from a completely different background than anybody in this industry. But the perception kept changing and I have seen lot of changes from the time nobody wanted to talk to me." 

This does not, however, mean that life has become easier. The interview also quoted Leone saying she regularly receives 'death threats' on her phone. "I get death threats...all sorts of weird threats. People have been doing these crazy things for the last six years, but it didn't bother me. I’m happy. I’m fine. I am working. I’m safe. If somebody abuses me, and I react with: ‘What are you talking about, how can you call me that?' then all of a sudden everybody's attention gets drawn to that," she said.

The actress was last seen in a dance number in Baadshaho (2017), starring Ajay Devgn and before thatn in Raees (2017), starring Shah Rukh Khan. She will be seen playing the lead in Tera Intezaar, alongside Arbaaz Khan. 

The film was earlier scheduled to be released on 24 November, but has now been delayed to 1 December.