Actor Pearl V Puri, who's known for TV shows like "Naagin 3" and "Bepanah Pyaar" was arrested on Friday night after a 5-year-old girl and her family filed a complaint against him for allegedly molesting and raping her around two years ago. The actor was booked by Mira-Bhayander Vasai-Virar police, invoking charges of IPC Sec. 376 AB and POCSO Act, 4, 8, 12,19, 21 for the rape of the minor girl. He has been sent to judicial custody by Vasai court, news agency ANI reported.
Puri has got massive support from the industry who have taken to social media to defend the actor. Prominent faces of the television industry like Ekta Kapoor, Anita Hassanandani, Krystle D'Souza, Aamir Ali and Aly Goni among others have shared posts for Pearl V Puri. While Anita dismissed the reports calling them nonsensical and lies, Aly shared a photo of the actor on his Instagram stories.
"Woke up to some nonsensical news bout @pearlvpuri I know him! It is NOT true ... canNOT be true.... all lies. I'm sure there is more to it. And the truth will be out soon. Love you @pearlvpuri," Anita Hassanandani shared in an Instagram post using the hashtag #ISTANDWITHPEARL.
Ekta Kapoor, on the other hand, posted a lengthy note on Instagram saying she has voice notes and messages of the alleged victim's mother claiming that the rape and molestation charges are stories created by her husband in order to keep their child by proving that a working mother cannot take care of a kid. She added that the film industry is as safe or as unsafe as any other business.
She wrote: "Will I support a child molester…or a molester of any kind? But what I witnessed from last night to now, was the absolute low in human depravity. How can humanity go to this level? How can people who are upset with each other, drag a third person into their own fight?"
"How can a human being take on another human being and do this?"
"After various calls with the child's/girl's mother, who openly said that Pearl was not involved and it's her husband trying to create stories to keep her child and prove that a working mother on a set cannot take care of her kid," Ekta added.
She claimed that if this is true "then it is wrong on so many levels".
"Using an extremely important movement like 'Me Too' frivolously, to get your own agendas met with and mentally torturing a child and making an innocent person guilty. I have no right to decide, the courts will decide who is right and wrong," she said.
"My opinion only comes from what the girl's mother said to me last night and that is -- Pearl is innocent… and it is very, very sad if people are using various tactics to prove working mothers are unable to take care of their children, because there are predators on the set," Ekta continued.
She said she has all "the voice notes and messages between the child's mother and me, which clearly points to the false allegations being put on Pearl".
"The film industry is as safe or as unsafe as any other business. To give it a bad name to get your agenda sorted is the lowest form of low ever. If by chance, Pearl is proved innocent, I request people to look more deeply into how the important and much needed movements in today's time, are being used unfairly reducing the gravitas of the situation. May justice prevail! #MayJusticePrevail @pearlvpuri," she concluded.
Here's how other celebs extended their support to the actor: