Ekta Kapoor, Anita Hassanandani support Pearl Puri amid rape allegations

MUMBAI, Jun 5: Producer Ekta Kapoor and actors Anita Hassanandani and Krystle D’Souza on Saturday extended support to Pearl Puri, who has been arrested for allegedly raping a five-year-old girl in 2019.

Puri, known for starring in “Naagin 3” and “Bepanah Pyaar”, was arrested by the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar (MBVV) police on Friday and produced before a court which sent him in judicial custody for 14 days.

“The alleged sexual assault and molestation with a five-year-old girl had taken place in 2019,” said Deputy Commissioner Sanjay Patil of MBVV police.

On the complaint of the girl’s father, FIR was registered under IPC section 376 AB (rape of woman below 12 years of age) and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act at Waliv police station in Vasai, he added.

In an Instagram post, Kapoor expressed shock over Puri’s arrest and claimed the actor was being falsely framed by the girl’s father.

“Will I support a child molester…or a molester of any kind? But what I witnessed from last night to now was the absolute low in human depravity,” she captioned the post, along with a photo of her and Puri.

The producer, who has worked with the actor in the hit show “Naagin 3”, asserted that the girl’s mother told her that Puri was innocent.

“It’s her husband trying to create stories to keep her child and prove that a working mother on a set cannot take care of her kid.”

Kapoor said it was incorrect to frivolously use the #MeToo movement for personal gains.

“If by chance, Pearl is proved innocent, I request people to look more deeply into how the important & much needed movements in today’s time, are being used unfairly reducing the gravitas of the situation. May justice prevail! #MayJusticePrevail,” she added.

Puri’s co-stars Hassanandani and D’Souza too stepped forward to show their support.

Hassanandani said the news is “nonsensical”.

“Woke up to some nonsensical news bout @pearlvpuri I know him! It is NOT true … CanNOT be true…. All lies. I’m sure there is more to it. And the truth will be out soon. Love you @pearlvpuri #ISTANDWITHPEARL,” she wrote.

Terming the allegations baseless, D’Souza said the truth will come out.

“I know @pearlvpuri and he is one of the nicest boys I’ve met in our tv industry. A thorough gentleman. Please don’t jump to conclusions on baseless allegations. Let’s wait for the truth to come out. #istandwithpearl #PearlVPuri,” she wrote. (PTI)