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Actress Khushboo apologises for comments on sex
IANS, Sep 26  [ Tue, Sep 27, 2005 ]
  • Chennai, Sep 26 (IANS) Actress Khushboo, whose comments on pre-marital sex had caused a storm in Tamil Nadu, Monday apologised, saying she could never dream of tarnishing the image of the people of the state.

    The actress, who was in Singapore, rushed back to the city Monday after her comments on female sexuality, made in the Tamil edition of India Today magazine, sparked angry protests.

    "I have great regard for Tamils, especially women. If my remarks have hurt anybody's feelings, I tender an apology. I am one among you and will always remain with you," Khushboo said in a statement.

    "Even in films, I never accepted roles which lowered the image of women," she remarked.

    Earlier Monday, an ally of the central government filed a defamation suit here against Khushboo for her comments, which it said had denigrated Tamil women.

    Khushboo has been at the centre of a raging controversy here after her comments were published by the magazine along with a survey on sex last week.

    The women's wing of PMK, an ally of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, filed a civil suit in a metropolitan magistrate's court seeking action against the actress under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code.

    "Khushboo has tarnished the image of Tamil women, making them hang their heads in shame," the wing's central Chennai district leader Deepam Jaikumar said.

    Parties like Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Dalit Panthers of India (DPI) and a section of the Tamil film fraternity too began protests in front of her house here, demanding an apology for her remarks.

    An effigy of the actress was burnt in Salem with many groups demanding that she should leave the state.

    A strong police contingent was deployed outside her house.

    Khushboo, who currently hosts TV shows on several Tamil channels, spearheaded an agitation recently against director-producer Thankar Bachan for his comments that "women who acted mainly for money were like prostitutes."

    Bachan later tendered an apology.

    Khushboo, a Maharashtra native married to Tamil actor-director Sundar, has settled in Tamil Nadu.

    She told India Today that pre-marital sex was okay "provided safety measures are followed to prevent pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases".

    She also said: "No educated man today would expect his wife to be a virgin."