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Thursday Jun 13 2019

Ali Zafar witness says Meesha Shafi's allegations tarnished alleged harasser's image

LAHORE: A witness presented by Ali Zafar's legal team said during a hearing on Wednesday that singer Meesha Shafi's allegations of sexual harassment had tarnished the alleged harasser's image.

The June 12 hearing was the latest in a defamation case filed by Zafar in response to Shafi's allegation of sexual harassment against him. Witness Sarfaraz was questioned and cross-examined in the hearing after having recorded his statement a day prior in a session presided by Justice Amjad Ali Shah, the additional session judge in Lahore, in the Session Court.

Sarfaraz further noted that Shafi's claims of sexual harassment had damaged Zafar's international agreements and tarnished his reputation.

The other witness, Taha, who is Zafar's current manager, also recorded his statement in today's hearing. Sarfaraz, on the other hand, is a former manager.

The court adjourned the hearing till June 18 and summoned the last witness from Zafar's legal team to record their statement.

On Tuesday, Sarfaraz had claimed that he had worked with the alleged harasser for eight years but did not see him harass anyone ever.

Shafi, he said, had made baseless allegations against Zafar and those accusations caused tremendous loss to Zafar.

No such incident of harassment from the singer-model occurred, he added, and confirming that he worked with Zafar as an event manager from 2008-2016.

Back in April 2018, Shafi took to Twitter to publicly accuse Zafar of physically harassing her on "more than one occasion".

"This happened to me despite the fact I am an empowered, accomplished woman who is known for speaking her mind!" her statement had read.

Zafar, on the other hand, "categorically" denied the allegations and threatened to take legal action against the actress.

"I intend to take this through the courts of law, and to address this professionally and seriously rather than to lodge any accusations here," the singer had said on Twitter. Zafar then filed a defamation suit against Shafi last year.

The suit, claiming damages of Rs1 billion, was filed under the Defamation Ordinance 2002. In the notice, the singer claimed Shafi damaged his reputation through false allegations of sexual harassment.