Tamil poet and lyricist Vairamuthu, who has been accused of sexual harassment, on Sunday released a video statement claiming that the allegations are false.
The poet said he has gathered “irrefutable evidence to show that all the accusations are false” and has spoken to senior lawyers. Vairamuthu said he was ready to face any legal action. “There is no need to conclude whether I am a good or bad person now,” he said. “Let the courts decide.”
On Monday, singer Chinmayi Sripaada endorsed the allegations of sexual harassment against Vairamuthu after several Twitter users accused him of inappropriate conduct and sexual abuse. She also detailed two separate occasions when Vairamuthu had harassed her. The same day the singer announced she would submit a complaint against the lyricist to the National Commission for Women.
Two days later, the poet took to the social media site to say he would not bother about falsehood and claimed that defaming popular personalities had become “a culture across the country”.
Reacting to the poet’s statement, Sripaada said: “Mr Vairamuthu should take a lie detector test, enough said.”
In an interview to Scroll.in last week, the singer said she hoped that the Tamil film industry would stand by the survivors of such harassment, but did not sound hopeful. She said in the past people in the industry have refused to address Vairamuthu’s alleged harassment of women. Apart from Sripaada, United States-based musician Sindhuja Rajaram, 32, has also accused the poet of sexually harassing her 14 years ago.
The allegations against Vairamuthu came at a time when dozens of women, including journalists, have taken to social media to give detailed accounts of the sexual harassment and misconduct they faced.
The campaign, dubbed the #MeToo movement in India, has sent tremors through industries such as film, music and the media. Some of the men accused of sexual misconduct are Union minister MJ Akbar, former Hindustan Times political editor Prashant Jha, actor Alok Nath, directors Vikas Bahl and Sajid Khan, senior The Times of India editors KR Sreenivas and Satadru Ojha, author Kiran Nagarkar, and multiple men affiliated currently or previously with comedy group AIB.