- In 2007, they attended an AIDS awareness programme together
- The incident invoked strong protests in several cities in India
- The event took place in Rajasthan in 2007
Actress Shilpa Shetty has been cleared by a Mumbai court in an obscenity case that was filed in 2007, 14 years ago, reports news agency PTI. Ms Shetty was the “victim” in a controversial kiss involving Hollywood star Richard Gere, the court decided. Shilpa Shetty and Richard Gere were at an AIDS awareness event held in Rajasthan in 2007 – on stage, Mr Gere repeatedly hugged Ms Shetty and planted a kiss on her cheek. Several complaints and protests nationwide followed. The complaint against Shilpa Shetty was that she did not protest when kissed by Richard Gere; the case was transferred from a Rajasthan court to Mumbai on the order of the Supreme Court.
The Mumbai court discharged Shilpa Shetty on January 18, reports PTI. “It seems that the accused Shilpa Shetty is the victim of the alleged act of accused no. 1 (Richard Gere). Not a single element of any of the alleged offence is being satisfied in the complaint,” metropolitan magistrate Ketki Chavan said in the court order, “This by no stretch of imagination makes her a conspirator or perpetrator of any crime.” The court order was made available on Monday.
Richard Gere, effigies of whom were burnt after the controversial kiss, apologised later for causing offence; Shilpa Shetty described the protests as overreaction.
The actress, ow 46, has not commented on the court order. She shared a philosophical post on the idea of happiness today:
Shilpa Shetty has weathered several controversies apart from the Richard Gere kiss – these include her accusations of racism against fellow contestants on UK reality show Celebrity Big Brother (which she won) and husband Raj Kundra’s arrest in a pornography case last year.
Shilpa Shetty made her Bollywood debut in 1993 film Baazigar opposite Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. Her film credits include Dhadkan, Phir Milenge and Life In A… Metro. She has lately been the judge on talent shows like Super Dancer and India’s Got Talent.