KARACHI: It has been nearly 15 days since Meesha Shafi first came forward with allegations of sexual harassment against Ali Zafar and since then, several other women have come forward with their own stories of the Teefa in Trouble star. Zafar in turn slammed a whopping Rs100 crore defamation lawsuit on Shafi, and things have been fairly silent since.
Perhaps the online trolling and abuse might have deterred others from speaking out and pursuing the matter further; perhaps the storm has settled in favour of Zafar. Regardless, another victim has come forward to talk about her own experience with the singer at a party in Lahore.
Noor E Sehar, a marketing executive based in Karachi who is a regular at the industry events, claims to have been sexually harassed by the singer when she attended a soiree hosted by a famous fashion designer.
Cutacut spoke to Noor about her experience. “It was a party in Lahore, I went to it with my friend. Ali Zafar came in a little later into the night and I noticed that he kept looking at me for some time. Eventually, he came up to me and tried to strike a conversation. I’m normally very shy so I wasn’t really responding much. He kept trying to talk for a really long time, would leave and then come back. But as time went by, he kept trying to get close to me. It was a party and the music was loud so he kept closing in on me, talking to me in my ear and forcefully holding my hands and touching them in a weird manner. I told him three times, literally my words were, “I’m not interested”. I think I said the same to him two more times, that I’m not interested, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer. Towards the end of the night, he invited me to another singer’s house. Of course, I didn’t go.”
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Speaking about why she chose to come our with her story now, Noor said, “To be honest, I haven’t been hiding this incident, I’ve spoken to my friends about it. I never spoke about it publicly because I never really found the right platform. Regarding the backlash, I haven’t really thought about it. But the reason I’m speaking up now is because I don’t want to regret not speaking later.”
Noor joins the list of victims who have publicly accused Ali Zafar of sexually harassing them on different occasions. Meesha’s public stance has challenged the culture of silence that exists in our society, giving strength to other women to address the instances of sexual harassment that they have been subjected to.