A couple of days after Kannada movie actress Samyuktha Hegde alleged that she was abused and attacked for wearing a sports bra and working out in a park in Bengaluru, Congress leader Kavitha Reddy has issued an apology on social media.
Sharing the video on Twitter, Reddy wrote, “I have always opposed Moral Policing. I realize that my actions were construed as such. An argument ended up in me reacting aggressively as well, it was a mistake. As a responsible citizen n progressive woman, I own up to n sincerely apologise to @SamyukthaHegde n her Friends!"
What happened between Samyuktha Hegde and Kavitha Reddy?
Hegde, along with her friends, had gone to a public park near Agara Lake in Bengaluru to work out. Hegde was in a sports bra while her friend was in a grey t-shirt and pants. Hegde went live on Instagram and posted on Twitter, accusing Reddy of shaming them for their choice of clothes and shouting at them for public indecency. In a video clip that she shared, the Congress leader can be seen lunging at one of the women.
However, Reddy said they got into an argument because the women were playing loud music and abused the security guard when asked to stop.
“Three of us were working out and Kavitha Reddy suddenly came and tried to assault us, saying that our clothes were wrong and we were doing cabaret instead of working out," the actor told reporters.
Hegde shared an 11-second video clipping of the incident on Twitter in which at least four women can be identified while two boys are also seen at a distance.
The future of our country reflects on what we do today. We were abused and ridiculed by Kavitha Reddy at Agara Lake@BlrCityPolice @CPBlrThere are witnesses and more video evidenceI request you to look into this#thisisWRONGOur side of the storyhttps://t.co/xZik1HDYSs pic.twitter.com/MZ8F6CKqjw— Samyuktha Hegde (@SamyukthaHegde) September 4, 2020
“These are the girls who are acting too smart," said Reddy while trying to shoot the video as another unidentified girl from Hegde’s group could be heard saying here is a lady who abuses young people.
Immediately after this, as seen in the video, Reddy charged at one of the girls as if to hit her with her right hand but stopped short as the girl managed to dodge her amid cries of shock and outrage from Hegde and others as the video ends there.
“We were abused and ridiculed by Kavitha Reddy at Agara Lake. There are witnesses and more video evidence, I request you to look into this. #this is wrong," tweeted Hegde tagging Bengaluru Police Commissioner and the city police official’s Twitter account.
In another 16-minute long video, Hegde was seen talking to a crowd of people as well as a couple of policemen, saying that what Reddy did was wrong.
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Hegde also told the police that somebody in the crowd was trying to malign her to and link her to drugs case currently embroiling the Kannada film industry. She said such an attempt was wrong.
How did Kavitha Reddy react to this?
Identifying herself as an All India Congress Committee (AICC) member, Karnataka Congress spokesperson, mountaineer, lake activist, Reddy lashed out at the film actress on social media as a response.
“I got called bloody bi*ch by some psycho B-grade celebrity and public stripper Samyuktha Hegde for standing up for guards who were abused by her, the day starts and ends," tweeted Reddy about the incident.
In another tweet, which has now been deleted, Reddy wrote, “So Stripping off in Public for no real reason but only to do a live video and avoid going to Police Station is some Great deed?"
You can see the tweet here.
According to The News Minute, Reddy also called the incident an ‘attempt at cheap publicity’ by Hegde. She denied ever referring to Hegde or her friends’ clothes and said that she works out in shorts herself.
What did Kavitha Reddy say in her apology?
In the apology video posted by Reddy, she asserts that she did not indulge in moral policing and denies making regressive comments about Hegde and her friends’ attire. She also apologised for losing her temper.
Here’s her video:
I have always opposed Moral Policing. I realize that my actions were construed as such. An argument ended up in me reacting aggressively as well, it was a mistake. As a responsible citizen n progressive woman, I own up to n sincerely apologise to @SamyukthaHegde n her Friends! pic.twitter.com/pM9UJkWESC— Kavitha Reddy (KR) Jai Bhim! (@KavithaReddy16) September 6, 2020
She also said that the incident had been blown out of proportion with multiple videos doing the rounds on social media. Finally, she said that since she was a responsible and “progressive" citizen, she wanted to apologise to Hegde and her group.