Ali Zafar seeks apology from Meesha Shafi, sends Rs100 million legal notice

Singer maintains Meesha made false harassment accusations against him

Riaz Shakir

LAHORE: Ali Zafar, a renowned pop singer currently facing sexual harassment allegations from fellow musician Meesha Shafi, sent a legal notice to his accuser on Monday, seeking an apology, which, if not provided, will result in "damages to the tune of at least Rs100 million" under Defamation Ordinance, Geo News reported.

According to the letter available with Geo News, Zafar, an actor and a composer, maintains that Shafi levelled false accusations of sexual harassment against him.

A defamation suit will be filed against Shafi should she fail to delete the tweet dated 19.04.2018 and issue an apology on Twitter within two weeks of the notice being served, the draft read.

Earlier today, two of Zafar's lawyers confirmed to Geo News that a legal notice was being drafted. Advocate Ali Sibtain Fazli, the accused's legal counsel, said the media would be informed of further proceedings in the case.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Pansota, Shafi's lawyer, said his client had not received Zafar's legal notice.

'Extremely traumatic experience'

Earlier this week, in a Twitter post, Shafi had said: “I have been subjected, on more than one occasion, to sexual harassment of a physical nature at the hands of a colleague from my industry: Ali Zafar.

"These incidences did not happen when I was young, or just entering the industry. This happened to me despite the fact that I am an empowered, accomplished woman who is known for speaking her mind! This happened to me as a mother of two children.”

“It has been an extremely traumatic experience for me and my family. Ali is someone I have known for many years and someone who I have shared the stage with. I feel betrayed by his behaviour and his attitude and I know that I am not alone.”

"Today I am breaking this culture of silence and I hope that by doing that I am setting an example for young women in my country to do the same. We only have our voices and the time has come to use them."

'Intend to take this through the courts of law'

Zafar broke his silence on the matter a few hours later, categorically denying all claims of sexual harassment lodged against him by Shafi, who, in the first-of-its-kind allegations in the entertainment industry, had claimed that Zafar had sexually harassed her more than once.

The Coke Studio singer said: "I am deeply aware and in support of the global MeToo movement and what it stands for."

"I am the father of a young girl and a young boy, a husband to a wife and a son to a mother.

"I am a man that has stood up for myself, my family, my colleagues and friends countless times in the face of slander, defamation and general unkindness.”

“I intend to take this through the courts of law and to address this professionally and seriously rather than to lodge any allegations here.”

NOTE: On Wednesday (April 25) Shafi's lawyer confirmed having received a legal notice from Zafar's legal team. The story above was based on a draft of the legal notice shared by Zafar's legal team. The final legal notice demands Rs 100 crores instead of Rs 100 million as had been reported on Monday (April 23).