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25 Jan, 2022 16:57

Actress cleared of obscenity accusation 15 years after Hollywood star kissed her

Shilpa Shetty’s obscenity case was dropped over a decade after Richard Gere kissed her
Actress cleared of obscenity accusation 15 years after Hollywood star kissed her

A Mumbai court has cleared actress Shilpa Shetty of obscenity charges, proclaiming her “a victim” of famous American actor Richard Gere’s actions. The decision marks the end of a 15-year-long saga that started when Gere kissed Shetty at an AIDS awareness event in India’s Rajasthan in 2007.

The photos of Gere first kissing Shetty’s hand and then kissing her on the cheek sparked indignation, prompting protesters to resort to burning effigies and portraits of both actors.

Following complaints, both Shetty and Gere were accused of several counts of obscenity and indecency.The case against Gere was quickly closed, with the Supreme Court judges saying that the “frivolous” complaints had been filed for “cheap publicity” and that the actor therefore was “free to visit the country.

For Shetty, however, the incident turned out to be a long-standing issue. Having initially started in Rajasthan, her case was later moved to Mumbai. In her plea for discharge, filed through her advocate Madhukar Dalvi and quoted by the local media, the actress, now 46, said that the fact “that she did not protest when she was kissed by the co-accused Richard Gere” could not make her a conspirator or perpetrator of the crime. Previously, Shetty complained that “so much” in her case “has been blown out of proportion.


A Metropolitan magistrate Ketki Chavan has seemingly agreed with Shetty’s arguments, admitting that the kiss was initiated by Gere, who is referred to in the legal papers as an “accused No 1.”

I pursued [the] record, especially the complaint which has given rise to the case in hand. On kind reading of said complaint, it seems that present accused i.e. Shilpa Shetty is the victim of [an] alleged act of accused No 1. Not [a] single element of any of the alleged offenses is being satisfied in [the] complaint,” said the magistrate, as quoted by the Hindustan Times.Concluding the hearing, which took place on Monday, Chavan said that after considering the police report, complaints, and the prosecution documents, the court is “satisfied that [the] charge against present accused i.e. Shilpa Shetty is groundless.”

The actress, who rose to international stardom after taking part in the reality show Celebrity Big Brother, has not officially reacted to the news but published an optimistic post on Instagram.

Decorating her photo with a quote “If you want to be happy … Be,” mistakenly attributed by her to Leo Tolstoy, Shetty called on her followers not to wait “for another person, or the weekend, or a special occasion to bring you joy and happiness.”