January 17, 2011 14:33 IST
Allegations that My Brother Nikhil filmmaker Onir had molested model-turned-actor Yuvraaj Parashar surfaced recently. However Onir's friends and supporters insist that he has been falsely implicated.
Ashok Row Kavi, chairperson at the Humsafar Trust (that works on gay and transgender issues) and the technical officer for sexual minorities at UNAIDS, says the director has been framed and that the Dunno Y actor is openly gay.
Reveals the gay activist, "I have tremendous sense of respect for Onir. Unlike five other leading directors in the industry, he's the only person who's come on board with his sexuality not just through his films but also in his acceptance of himself. Yuvraaj is a struggling actor who came to Mumbai eight years back and has been using all means possible to get any kind of publicity."
Kavi even adds that he's met the actor and his boyfriend at a film festival at the Kashish Film Festival. "Yuvraaj came with his partner and everyone knows he's gay. He even has a tattoo of a guy named Bunty on his forearm, who he dated years ago. How can some one who has slept with men allege sexual abuse?"
In fact, he adds that Yuvraaj used the name of the Humsafar trust for the publicity of Dunno Y... Na Jaane Kyun.
"We never praised him or his film. He has no evidence that Humsafar was supporting his film. The film was awful but for the sake of gay solidarity, we decided not to say anything. Now he's defaming someone like Onir."
Ashok feels Parashar should have approached the cops. "If he was raped or molested, he should've gone to the cops and got a forensic test done rather than going to the press with a juicy story. At least Onir didn't deny the meeting and had the honesty to accept that it was consensual. I think other closeted directors need to be warned that there are predators like Yuvraaj lurking around and that they should be on their guard."
Onir put this up on his Facebook page after the allegations, "I am ANGRY and TRAUMATISED. How can someone use my trust and kindness and get away with cheap publicity by spreading VILE LIES in the media? I want to tell you all I am not going to make a publicity stunt out of this but will fight this LEGALLY. I will not let anyone get away by damaging my DIGNITY and INTEGRITY."
Sanjay Suri who has worked with Onir said, "I've known Onir for almost a decade. He's one of the nicest human beings I have come across. It's unfortunate that someone wanted to get cheap publicity out of him. Also I am shocked the publication had the desire to carry something so baseless. If what happened was indeed true, the guy should've filed an FIR (first information report) and not gone to the press crying wolf!"
"I find this whole thing really funny. I know Onir and he's one of the softest people around. Forget molesting someone he wouldn't even hurt a fly. It's really unfortunate his name is being dragged and used for someone else's benefit," said actor Purab Kohli.