Actress Urvashi Rautela has reacted to the National Commission for Women (NCW) in the IMG Venture case, and said that her official association with the firm was purely centred on rendering services at an event that happened in November, in the capacity of a celebrity jury.
People Against Rape in India (PARI) founder Yogita Bhayana filed a complaint against Sunny Verma, promoter of IMG Venture, alleging that Verma has been blackmailing and sexually assaulting a number of women on the pretext of giving them modelling opportunities through the company. Urvashi is among several Bollywood celebrities whose names have been linked with IMG Ventures.
Urvashi said: "In light of the shocking development and unfolding of scandalizing allegations pressed on IMG Venture (our then client), I have been attracting a great deal of hatred and animosity from all quarters and have found myself to be at the receiving end of this disgraceful revelation."
"My official association with the client was purely centered on rendering my services towards the on-ground finale event happening in November as the scope of a celebrity jury. I was in no capacity involved with the selection process, operations of the event, and neither is the knowledge of the same," she added.
Urvashi said that owing to the collaboration of many "industry friends" with this event, her business manager took the plunge and went ahead with the association.
"We are saddened to learn about the allegations made on the ownership of the event that surfaced recently on social media and was highly condemn such inhumane acts and behaviour that endangers the dignity and safety of our women."
Urvashi added that she and her team have "terminated all our ties with the client with immediate effect."
The former beauty queen says she empathises with all those candidates who have been victimised by the company and she expressed her solidarity and support towards them.
"I will be glad to assist them in any possible way and guide them better. I have always advocated and lent our voice for women's rights and empowerment and hopefully, we can create a progressive and secure professional ecosystem for the women of our society," said Urvashi.
On Thursday, the National Commission for Women had issued fresh notices to Urvashi, along with other Bollywood celebrities whose names have emerged in the case. These include filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, actors Esha Gupta and Mouni Roy, and TV actor Prince Narula. These celebrities were asked to record their statements in the case.
The fresh notices come after these celebrities, who allegedly promoted IMG Ventures failed to appear at the hearing before the commission, which it had scheduled for August 6.
Speaking to IANS over phone, People Against Rapes in India (PARI) founder Yogita Bhayana, who filed the complaint, said: "I want to convey that if these people can unofficially ask IMG Ventures to remove their videos from their website why did they not answer or reply to NCW in today's hearing?"
"They are double-faced people who want to disassociate with Sunny Verma and his bad deeds and at the same time are afraid to say that they were associated with him in the past," the social activist said.
"Many TV and film actors are also promoting his company in a video advertisement," Bhayana's complaint had said.