Jami shares painful details in first interview since revealing he was raped

Film-maker bravely explains the entire encounter with 'media tycoon' and urges that the #MeToo movement 'mustn’t be derailed at any cost'

By Maha Ali

KARACHI: Pakistani filmmaker Jami openly shared painful details of him being raped by a media tycoon almost 13 years ago in an interview with Gulf News published on Sunday. Details of the incident first emerged in late October this year.

Earlier, the Moor director refrained from sharing too much about the incident but did take to Twitter to tell his side of the story. After a lack of coverage and awareness following his tweets, this new interview tries to provide justice to Jami for the incredibly brave decision to come forward with what happened.

Read: Film-maker Jami reveals he was raped by ‘powerful person’ in the media

The story addresses society’s doubts and the comments that he had been facing via social media after coming out with the news. Jami clarifies all misogynistic concerns by stating that there was no consent, that he is not gay and that he was forced and unable to fight his perpetrator off. Needless to say, nobody should be subjected to rape regardless of their sexuality (as Pakistani society often tends to confuse the two) and Jami’s case should be held as an example for those who believe that only women are able to be raped due to their physical incapability of fighting off their rapist.

Men can be raped too and it can solely be due to the mental trauma or, as Jami explains, the intimidation tactics that the rapist might employ: “Ask anyone who knows him. His dynamics. He is like Weinstein. Powerful. Obnoxious. Arrogant. Intellectual. Very smart. Mixing intellectual stuff with unwanted sexual advances.”

The incident itself was entirely unexpected. Jami claims that one moment he was having food with the perpetrators mother and the next it seemed to be a different person: “Suddenly, he changed. It happened in seconds. He changed to a different mode. He was not the same man. The sophistication vanished. He started to mumble. He was all over me. Jami, you’re beautiful. It went ugly from there, Jami explained.

Moreover the daunting recollection of the incident by him is evidently a difficult one as he details the mental and emotional trauma that he was put under by it, stating that at times he felt ‘destroyed’, and that it led to a transformation in his personality as he ‘became aggressive’, ‘became the screaming kind’, was on severe anti-depressants such as Zoloft and Xanax for six months and stated that he hated himself. He explained that it was incredibly difficult news for his family to digest as well.

The interview also touched upon the problematic stance that some journalists have shown by ignoring this news and not showing support for the director who urges that the #MeToo movement should not be derailed at any cost. He further adds, “I was not expecting silence from my best friends who are journalists. I thought only the ones who work in [word edited] would remain silent. But there are other journalists–the so-called warriors–they’re silent too. That was really shocking. I never thought I’d be back-stabbed like that.” His interview has definitely sparked attention towards the broader issue of censoring sexual assault news when the perpetrator is almost untouchable due to his power and influence. Jami expressed this by saying, “It’s as if I’ve named the prime minister.”

A lot of support for the director has poured over on social media and many find his courage commendable.



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