Director-actor Raghava Lawrence, whose name came under a cloud following allegations of sexual exploitation by actress Sri Reddy, has said that he is willing to give her an opportunity in his film, provided she proves her acting abilities to him in the presence of the media.
The actor, late on Sunday, put out a statement in which he said that he ”Did not worry” about Sri Reddy’s allegations but was issuing a clarification only because the media were asking him about it.
“I want to clarify about the Sri Reddy issue. This issue is not a big thing for me and I didn’t worry about it but all press people are calling me and asking for clarification so I think it’s time for me to clarify it to everyone,” he said.
Citing the fact that the film during which Sri Reddy claims the incident had happened had been shot seven years ago, Lawrence said, “Sri Reddy has told that she met me during the making of the Telugu movie, Rebel. It’s already been seven years since I did Rebel. Then, why didn’t she report this seven years ago itself? Okay, leave that. She told that she came to my hotel room and I misused her. She also stated that she saw God’s photos and Rudraksha mala in my room. I am not a fool to keep Rudraksha mala at hotels and do pooja,” he said, indirectly denying Sri Reddy’s allegations.
“I’m directly saying to Sri Reddy that I haven’t done any mistake I know about myself and God knows. After all this also, I’m not angry on (with) you. I saw all your interviews (and) I only feel pity for you. Now, what’s your actual problem? Your problem is that everyone betrayed you saying that they will give you chance, right ? You are telling you are a good actor. We will do one thing. I will organise a press meet. You also join the press meet. In front of all the press, I will give you a character and scene to act and give you some dance steps to dance. This doesn’t mean I will give you difficult steps like I (generally) do. I will give you simple steps and dialogues. Just the basic quality a actor should have. If you really have talent, act in front of me before the press. As a director if I really feel you have talent, at that moment itself, in front of the press, I will sign you up for a good character in my next movie and give you advance. I haven’t done any mistake so I’m not scared to face you directly.
“If you act in my movie maybe you will get more chances and you might feel better or if you feel bad to act in front of everyone, then contact my manager, bring your lawyer and well wishers with you and show your acting skills to me. Definitely, I will help you. This reply is not because I got scared. It is because I respect women a lot. That’s why I have built a temple for my mother and dedicated it to all women,” the actor said.