A popular Malayalam actor was abducted and was sexually assaulted in a moving vehicle back in 2017 for which immense support came from the industry. That’s when Leena took to her social media to express her solidarity for the actor, during which she shared her experience of sexual assault and abuse.
Without explicitly mentioning the attackers’ name she wrote that in 2005 when she was working as a T.V. host, she interviewed a movie director after which he offered to drop her home. She accepted this kind offer and got into his car but was taken aback when he threw her phone from the car, threatened her to go to his apartment. He drove around the streets of Chennai, not letting her get off the car when she refused his inhumane wantings.
So, this was the first time Leena called out the director. She later decided to name the director explicitly during the outbreak of the #MeToo movement in 2018 to which Susi replied that these are false allegations as he didn’t allow her to work alongside him.
After this post, Amala Paul expressed her solidarity whilst sharing her experience with him, “. “Me too, despite being the leading actress of Thiruttu Payale 2, was subjected to double meaning talks, misrepresented offers, and unchivalrous bodily contacts,” she wrote.
Following this, actor Siddharth also expressed his support for Leena, and both the actors alleged that they received intimidating calls and threats from Susi Ganeshan and his team.
Days later, Leena was filed under a criminal defamation case by Susi Ganeshan stating that he never visited any studio in 2005 and placed several pieces of evidence accusing her of promoting religious enmity and publishing obscene images, etc. He even went out of his way to make his case by submitting her poems and screenshots of posts questioning social prejudices and patriarchy. Such bizarre evidence was presented by him in Saidapet court and the trial began in 2020.
After several walks and closed doors of justice for Leena, she finally began to see the light of hope in her life. She received a fully-funded film program at one of the top universities abroad. She began her classes online due to COVID-19 and was recently invited to join on-campus to finish her education. This is when Susi couldn’t let go.
He decided to take it up a notch and filed a petition to impound her passport that she cannot cross the Indian borders by comparing her to Vijay Mallaya in 2020. But, by the end of 2020, the court dismissed his petition.
He didn’t stop there. This director requested reopening his petition to impound her passport again in August 2021, to which the court accepted and impounded her passport via a notification to her mail-in September 2021. Leena has now filed a writ petition contesting the impounding.
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This filmmaker took to her social media with a post, “Yes, I named my harasser during #metooIndia movement. Yes, he is weaponizing defamation laws to silence me. I’m fighting it. Yes, he is using his powers to impound my passport. I’m challenging it. But isn’t asking for my blood if he writes to my University in Canada to cancel my Visa?”
This heartfelt post from her has turned heads and gained immense support from her fans and friends all over social media and online.
A push, she rose. A defame, she grew. A strike on her passion, she will rise stronger than ever! All power to this warrior of a survivor.