Vasantham actress says it's not her in sex video

Vasantham actress says it's not her in sex video
Udaya Soundari is one of the host of Thamizha Thamizha 2014.

Being an ubiquitous presence on MediaCorp's Vasantham television channel, she is used to people recognising her on the streets.

But in recent days, popular actress and host Udaya Soundari feels that some people are giving her the dirty look.

"I just know they are judging me for something that I didn't do," an exasperated Udaya told The New Paper yesterday.

The reason for these looks could be a video that purportedly shows her having sex with an unknown man.

Slightly longer than a minute, the video began circulating online last week on social media sites and porn sites with the tag "Singapore Celebrity Udaya In Action".

The 27-year-old award-winning actress said adamantly: "It is not me. I don't know how people could even think it's me."

Udaya, who stars in Indian period drama Annamalai from Mondays to Thursdays, said she has made a police report about the video and is considering legal action.

Last year, she became the first person to win three awards in a year at Pradhana Vizha, an annual ceremony that honours the best on local Indian television.

While she has not shied away from going out in public, she said that it can be difficult having to face the dirty looks from strangers.

"I just want to tell them that I know what they are thinking. And I want to shout that it's just not true at all. It isn't me!" she said.

Udaya found out about the video when a friend sent it to her on WhatsApp last Thursday.

"When I first saw the video, my friends and I just laughed it off. Obviously, I knew it wasn't me. And it was immediately clear to my friends, without me having to assure them," she said.

Even her boyfriend, Vasatham actor Ebi Shankara, dismissed it.

She said: "Wouldn't he be the best judge to assess whether a girl in an intimate video was really me?

"And he didn't believe for a second that it was me."

Joke

That was why she did not think much of it at the time. "We just thought it was a joke that would blow over," she said.

But a day later, it was uploaded to Facebook and went on to name her as the woman in the video.

"That's when the video really spread to the whole community," said Udaya, who reported it to Facebook. It was then taken down.

Some of her fans thought it was her and were outraged.

"They sent me private messages on Facebook and told me how disappointed they were in me, especially because their kids looked up to me as a role model," she said.

Some of them even questioned the way her parents had brought her up.

"It was very upsetting because I was being accused of something I didn't do," she said angrily.

But what affected her the most were her teenage fans asking her about the video.

"That is what hurts the most - that these young fans think that I'm capable of such an act."

She replied to every private message, telling them that it was not her in the video. "I had to. It took seven years of hard work to get to where I am now. My reputation was at stake and I wasn't going to let it all crumble."

While she remained mostly calm through the ordeal, she admitted that she broke down when she realised the video had been uploaded to several porn sites.

"That just ate into my soul. It just heightened the severity of the problem - the video had gone international."

Knowing that her boyfriend, her friends and her conservative family were aware of the truth was comforting to her.

"Their support carried me through this tough period," said Udaya.

"My mum said, 'Aiyoh, that's not you'. She was distressed by how people could think her daughter could be the one in the video."

Of course, there were fans who wrote to let her know that they still believed in her.

She said that Vasantham has also been extremely supportive and understanding. It did not reply to TNP's queries by press time.

Udaya said: "Ultimately, it is this support that makes me feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel."

I just know they are judging me for something that I didn't do.

- Udaya Soundari

Fans believe that's not her in video

After going on her Facebook page to deny her involvement in the video, Vasantham artist Udaya Soundari received hundreds of messages from fans, colleagues and loved ones.

They said they believe her and will always support her.

Her family is also standing by her.

Her Vasantham colleague, Jaenani Netra, commented on Udaya's Facebook post, telling her that the negative comments would eventually stop.

She added: "You continue doing the work you are doing on TV now. Genuine fans will continue giving you love and support!"

Fan Josephine Simon Dorai wrote: "Don't worry too much, Udaya Soundari. At one glance, we knew it is not you. We are always with you. Keep on rocking with your beautiful hosting and wonderful acting!"

Be brave

Another fan, Vyn Thayv, wrote: "Don't worry, gal. We're always with you. It's definitely not you in that video. Be brave and fight on."

One of Udaya's closest friends, Ms Manjula Balakrishnan, 36, said the normally strong and bubbly actress broke down after realising the seriousness of the situation and could not be consoled.

"I told her to hang in there and that the majority of her huge fan base would support her. I assured her that her friends would be there for her and that we would find out who did this," Ms Manjula said.

"It is very unfortunate that she was targeted because of her popularity. No woman should ever have to go through this."

Describing Udala as very traumatised, she added: "She has been receiving hundreds of messages every day, even from secondary school children who look up to her. It is reassuring that most of the messages have been nothing but positive."

Ms Manjula said she couldn't comprehend why a person would find joy in hurting someone in this way.

"We just want people to know that it isn't her in the video," she added.

 


This article was first published on Feb 27, 2015.
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