With fingers being pointed on everyone from all sides, Parth Samthaan and Gauri Arora, in a joint press conference presented their side of the story to the media.
How did this whole thing start?
Gauri- It started with an article that came in a leading newspaper, which stated that there was a man behind the whole transitioning I went through. However, that is not the truth. That article was sent from my phone to a reporter and I gave a 'go-ahead' to it because I was under pressure. There was no name mentioned anywhere, it was just a quote.
I want to know, why did Vikas suddenly become so interested in my transitioning. He is playing with me since the past one and a half months. He made me sign a contract then told me that my publicity would be done. I agree that I gave him the right to edit articles about me in the media. However, later he started playing this blame game which I was absolutely unaware of. That is when I realised that he was using me to play with innocent lives.
When did you realise that what was happening was wrong?
Gauri- Vikas did not mention Parth's name to me at all. He casually asked me one day as to how do I know Parth. I told him that I met him once in Delhi. Then he told me that he'll have to link me up with someone for my publicity or else no one would pay attention to me. I asked him why would Parth be that person. I did not want to get myself linked to someone because, my transition at that point was more important. Vikas then told me that I would get my publicity and he would get his revenge against Parth.
He told me that Parth's name would not directly be taken. It would just be hinted that this person came as a celebrity guest, broke your heart and left and that he is the reason you are what you are today. I thought it was funny at first, but Vikas told me that this would be the turning point of my career and asked me to agree to the texts that he would be sending, so that he could take screen shots. Such a loser!
There was a mention about the guy having a college rock star image. When I asked them, they told me that the said show had 4-5 guys and it would be completely speculative. I believe that until and unless I do not take a specific name myself, I do not want to spoil a person's life. After the college rock star article got published, I started getting hate mails from Parth's fans who were asking me as to why am I dragging his name. I then told Vikas that - listen, I am getting a lot of hatred from his fans even though I have not done anything. I do not want any part of this. Then Vikas asked me whether I would go out and live on the roads.
Vikas took my auditions, made me sign contracts just so that he could convince me that he was indeed giving me work. He knew that I was going through a tough time, that I was homeless and in depression. I had begged him to give me some work so that I could afford my rent at least. He did not pay me a single penny, I was thrown out of my house from Lokhandwala. My friend's have been helping me. Vikas has my recordings wherein I have confessed that Parth has done all this to me. But that isn't true.
Didn't you realise at that point that you should have informed Parth about the same? May be the article would not have got published in the first place.
Gauri- I realised that multiple times. But Vikas would always stop me and tell me that people will make fun of me and also that he would make sure that no one in the industry would give me work. He told me that I will make sure that you beg on the streets of Mumbai.
Which show did Vikas offer you?
Gauri- Initially he told me that he would get me in 'Bigg Boss'. But when I told him that I did not want to get into Bigg Boss by spoiling someone's life. He went ahead and told me that you have no other option as you are not talented. I know that I cannot become a hero or a heroine in a movie. But I can do modelling and other things. But Vikas tells me that he would never let my career get set. In fact, just yesterday, I was tortured for more than two hours.
A week ago,my facebook account was hacked. I then called Vikas up and told him about it. I then questioned him that if tomorrow some guy throws acid on my face and tells me that I am Parth's fan, will you stand by me and help me? Vikas then told me that you are not that important that someone would throw acid on your face. I was just a puppet for him.
There is absolutely no truth to rumors of you and Parth being involved?
Gauri- Not at all. I just met him in Delhi once. That's it. He is a straight guy. Why will he look at me first of all when I was a boy.
Parth, why do you think Vikas is behind you? And things seem to have become pretty ugly.
Parth- You should be asking this question to Vikas. And yes, things have become ugly now. But, who wants it to be ugly? Like I said in previous interviews, I don't want myself in such places. My parents and friends ask me about and I don't like it. However, they back me up and support me. I tell them that I'll handle these situations. I felt it was best to avoid and ignore these situations and hence I kept doing that. But there is a time where you know that you have to take a stand against it.
I got to know that Vikas, in an email to Gauri, asked her to file charges of threatening her in the police station against me. When Gauri, who thankfully read the entire mail, said that it was mentioned that he had to file a case under Section 377 of IPC, (attempt to rape), which is a big thing. Rape is something that you can not make jokes about. It is a very serious and heinous crime. In fact, when the police heard our side of the story, they appreciated Gauri for having the guts to come out in the open and inform me about the plotting happening against me.
You filed a case last time and took it back? Will history repeat itself again?
Parth- I took back the case last time because I felt its enough and lets end it. Lets not make things uglier. Last time, we tried reaching out and tried helping. However, nothing helped, because that person was not willing to give up anything. So right now, the situation has worsened, so only to put an end to this, I want to reach out through the media.
How do you plan to pursue the case?
Parth- Legally or illegally, we will try to put an end to it in the best way we can. I am sure that the person can go to any limits after listening to what happened now. I just want that person to grow in his life, I want to move forward and I also want Gauri to move forward in life. I am just focusing on my life, my film, my career; and people will start appreciating you once you do good in your life.
Gauri- I am getting threatening calls and messages where he tried to call my father. He said that if I move forward with the press conference, then he'll not let me work in the industry. And that he'll also organise a press conference and demean me and leak pictures of me and Parth that have not even been clicked.
Gauri, you won't back out now?
I don't have sources and neither am I rich nor am I insecure. My father has been getting calls, my friends are calling me up and dissuading me from taking this case forward. But I have already filed a police complaint wherein I have mentioned that if anything happens to me, Vikas and his 'gang' are to be blamed. I need security. I don't even know as to who his gang members are. But they are to be held responsible. My life is in danger; he can do anything. He is still behind Parth to defame him and he is also trying to tarnish my image. I need nothing from Vikas. I don't want to talk about him.
Parth, is it that difficult to get work in this industry?
I have always maintained that if you are talented and it is there in your destiny, you will, of course get work. The industry is very good. There are a few people who can do wrong in a way and who give you false hopes. And this is the only bad side of the industry. Keeping that aside, if you are strong and have the courage and of course, the talent, you can overcome it all. This is the moment where we feel that enough is enough, let us put an end to this. Let's grow in each other's life.
Would you like to give a message out to your fans?
I am happy with the kind of support that they have given me. Honestly, the culprits may feel that all this will make a difference and even I would think like that. But it does not make a difference. Trust me, wherever I go, whomever I meet, no one is concerned as far as you are doing good work. I'll say that people do not care about these controversies. So stop trying to make them. They read about them, watch videos related to them and forget them.
Gauri, would you appeal to the viewers who are watching you?
Being a trans, it's pretty hard to live in India. To top it all, people like Vikas who are ready to pull you down in every sense possible, it is even more difficult. I thought that the industry will help me and offer me work and respect me, which has not been the case yet. I wish that people respect me, I want to work hard and succeed. I do not want negative publicity.
Parth, would you like to clarify about your sexuality?
No. I do not need to. People know it very well. Trust me, I don't. They actually find all these allegations that have been framed against me really funny.
Pretty messy, isn't it? Hearing their sides of the story, whom do you support? Leave in your comments below..