#MeToo: Arjun Sarja files Rs 5 cr defamation suit against Sruthi

Bengaluru: Days after actress Sruthi Hariharan accused him of behaving in an “unprofessional” manner, South Indian actor Arjun Sarja Thursday filed a Rs 5 crore defamation suit against her.

The actor’s manager Shivarjun also lodged a complaint against the actress at the Cyber Crime police station.

Attempts by the Karnataka Film Chambers of Commerce to bring about a rapprochement between the two failed as they stuck to their respective stands.

Kicking up a storm in the Kannada film industry, the actress had accused Sarja of behaving with her in “lewd and complete unprofessional” manner during the shooting of a movie two years ago. Senior filmmakers such as Ambarish, Sa Ra Govindu, Congress MLA and film maker Munirathna and Karnataka Film Chambers of Commerce president Chinne Gowda were present at the KFCC office as attempts were made to bring the two artistes to the negotiation table.

Sruthi Hariharan and Sarja came there, but they remained adamant on their stand, and the KFCC could not arrive at any compromise. “There is no question of compromise because the pain is intense. Not only me, but my family, friends and above all, my fans in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu are deeply hurt. I don’t want others to be sacrificed like this. Hence, we have gone to court. You will come to know in the coming days who are behind this campaign against me,” Sarja told reporters after the meeting.

Sarja said he has already approached the court and it would be improper on his part to speak on a sub-judice matter. Sarja’s friend Prashanth Sambaragi said a defamation suit of Rs 5 crore has been filed against the actress. Unfazed by the police complaint and court cases against her, Sruthi Hariharan too was adamant.

“Our society has stooped so low that if something wrong happens to the girl she is victimised. Why should I seek apologies when I had faced the problem?” she said.