Veteran Telugu actor Chalapathi Rao was booked by the Hyderabad police on Tuesday for making derogatory comments about women, after he said that they are “useful to sleep with” during an event on Sunday, IANS reported.

At the music launch of actor Naga Chaitanya’s upcoming film Rarandoi Veduka Chuddam, Rao was asked by the anchor if women did in fact “disturb [one’s] mental peace”, as the film’s tagline claims. The actor replied, “What can I say if you ask like that? Women are useful to sleep with.”

Rao faced an immediate backlash for his statements and women’s organisations lodged a complaint against him with the Jubilee Hills police station in Hyderabad. He spent Tuesday apologising for his comments, first in a public statement, then again during a TV interview, and finally in a clarification in a Facebook live video.

Rao was criticised not only on social media, but also by his colleagues in Tollywood. Actor Akkineni Nagarjuna said, “I always respect women personally and in my films. I definitely do not agree with Chalapathi Rao’s derogatory comments.”

His son Naga Chaitanya Akkineni also ran afoul of commentators by apparently smiling approvingly as Rao put his foot in his mouth. However, he tweeted that his reactions, as shown on TV, were not for those particular statements. “Do I agree with it? Absolutely NOT!” he said.

Elsewhere, the film’s lead actress Rakul Preet Singh also apologised for taking too long to respond, saying she had not understood the exact meaning of Rao’s sexist comment earlier. “Beginners like her most of the times choose to remain silent out of respect for the seniors,” a statement released by Singh’s team said. “But this occasion cannot be one of those and seniors should also know where to draw the line in scenarios like this.”