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How Aishwarya Rai's decision not to work with Gaurang Doshi was an inspiration for Flora Saini


Speaking with Cinestaan.com, Saini confessed that the gesture by the actress 'meant so much' to her in trying times. 

Shriram Iyengar

While her complaints and pleas back in 2007 evoked no result from the film industry, actress Flora Saini revealed that it was Aishwarya Rai Bachchan who proved a solace for her in those trying times.

Speaking about the reaction of people when she came out with revelations of physical abuse by Gaurang Doshi in 2007, Saini said, "I had spoken up even then. But they would tell me that he is so strong, he is powerful, and nobody wanted to listen to me. They didn't beleive me."

In 11 years, nothing has moved in the Gaurang Doshi assault case: Survivor Flora Saini

However, there was one person who did believe her statement, and offered a wordless gesture of support. Saini says, "The only person in the universe, and I love her for that is Aishwarya Rai. Gaurang Doshi had signed Aishwarya for a film called Happy Birthday. When she learnt that his bail had been rejected by the lower court, and the high court, she walked out of the film saying 'I will not work with a woman beater'."

A Mumbai Mirror report from 2007 quotes Doshi reacting to Rai Bachchan's decision saying, "If Aishwarya believes I beat up Flora even after I have declared my innocence then I can't do much. I have already spoken to a substitute actress and I have her dates. One thing is very clear: Aishwarya or no Aishwarya, I will go ahead with my film as per schedule."

The film in discussion never went on the floors. However, Saini revealed that Rai Bachchan's decision to walk out was encouraging. "I can't tell you what that meant for me. When you are hopeless, that one gesture from someone who doesn't even know me... I have never met her, and I have told my friends if you ever meet her, tell her there is one girl in the entire world who loves you to death, and has prayed a million times for you and your happiness," said Saini.

Saini added that she still feels threatened by Doshi, even though there is an ongoing case of assault against the Aankhen (2002) producer. "In a way, he had also threatened me that you are ok till the case is on, but once it is done, I will teach you a lesson. I want the case to go on, because I am scared," she added.

Despite the ongoing case, Saini has no hopes of an apology from Doshi. However, she believes the support people are offering her today is encouraging. "I will never get his apology, because he truly believes that he didn't do anything wrong, and that I am doing this for publicity. But photos don't lie. The apology that I haven't got from him, I am getting in terms of support from people who I never knew."

"The girls standing up today are setting the highest example, and maybe, they are saving lives. They don't even know it. At least, if people don't change, they will be scared. At least they will think twice before acting like this," the actress said during her conversation with Cinestaan.com.

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Sexual harassment