Lifestyle

LAHORE – A Lahore-based stage actress who had accused her producer of raping her has backed off from her claim.

 

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On Thursday, Ali told a private TV channel that she had never approached the police against the producer. “I have been working with Arshad Chaudhary for last four years. He was the one who introduced me to the stage industry,” Ali said in an interview.

When asked about those who ‘tried to malign her and Arshad Chaudhary’, Soha Ali said she was sick for past few days and her rivals took advantage of her absence. However, she refrained from taking legal action against those who ‘attempted to defame her and the producer’.

Earlier, according to Soha Ali’s story, Arshad Chaudhary had subjected her to sexual abuse for several times. “It’s not just me. Arshad has raped so many girls who approach him for work,” Soha told Daily Pakistan in an interview.

Soha Ali had earlier confirmed to Daily Pakistan in an audio recording that drama producer Arshad Chaudhry had been subjecting her to repeated sexual abuse in order to promote her in the industry.

She also submitted an application to the city police chief seeking police protection. The stage dancer, in her statement, had claimed that Mr. Chaudhary had threatened her of dire consequences if she had the temerity to raise the matter. She said he had also threatened to kill her children in the event of such a development.

“I will not withdraw my application. I will also approach the IGP and the chief minister for justice,” Soha had said.

She also maintained it (the sexual acts) had happened before, during all those years she was working on Chaudhary’s projects. But this time, she was forced into anal sex, she said, which was highly painful and absolutely unacceptable.

While there is no official action in sight, after the actress has backed off her claim, police officers say this sort of mudslinging is pervasive in Lahore’s theatre community.

Lahore’s Alflah Theatre, where Soha remained employed under Chaudhry’s tutelage, has gained notoriety for ‘exploiting’ fresh faces aspiring to make it big in showbiz.

Since the allegations surfaced this week, Arshad Chaudhary has been keeping a low profile. The producer remained unavailable for comments despite repeated attempts. His latest production Husn Ko Dekho starring Khusboo is being staged daily at Alfalah.