National award-winning filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar said he is relieved after the Supreme Court quashed the charge of alleged rape levelled against him by actress and model Preeti Jain.
He thanks his wife, friends and fans for their constant support.
"I am feeling very much relieved. When I got this news, I was completely numb and I was in tears. This case was almost eight and a half years old, so this whole drama has come to an end," Bhandarkar told IANS.
The apex court bench of Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice C.K. Prasad quashed the charge after it was told that the actress was no longer interested in pursuing the matter after nine years.
Jain earlier alleged that Bhandarkar had sex with her 16 times on the promise of casting her in a lead role in a film. Jain filed a complaint in a magistrate's court in 2004 after Maharashtra Police twice filed closure reports after investigation into the allegation of rape.
Bhandarkar says he never felt demoralised because of the allegation.
"As a filmmaker, this whole thing never demoralised me. I am very happy and thankful to the media, people, friends who have supported me. I am grateful to my wife (Renu Namboodiri), who stood by me during this sad phase."
"The industry thought my career would come to an end post this, but this thing never demoralised me and I stuck with my conviction and went ahead and made films. I am very happy right now and thankful to god," he added.
The 46-year-old is known for films like "Chandni Bar", "Page 3", "Traffic Signal" and "Fashion". His latest film was Kareena Kapoor-starrer "Heroine".