Malayalam News

Vanitha Magazine Provides Space for Sexual-Assault Accused Dileep to Whitewash His Image

On January 8, Vanitha, a popular Malayalam women’s magazine, released its latest issue featuring a cover story of actor Dileep and his family. Dileep is the eighth accused in the ongoing case of the abduction and sexual assault of a female Malayalam actor.


The January cover of Vanitha features a family photo of the actor along with the text Oru Prarthana Maathram, Dileep Kudumbasametham (Only one prayer, Dileep and his family) and story’s headline reads Ente Yudham Sathyam Jaikkan (My Battle to Win the Truth). This has notably been published just as a fresh probe has been launched by the Kerala police against Dileep, after new revelations in the assault case have come to light.

Vanitha positions itself as a ‘women-friendly’ magazine – its name translates to ‘woman’ and its tagline, Sthreekalude Suhruthum Vazhikaattiyum, means ‘Friend and Guide of Women’ – and it has consequently received considerable backlash for propping up an accused in a sexual assault case.

The cover story, which is an interview with Dileep and his wife, tries to prove that the truth is on his side and aims to garner sympathy for the actor by using his family as a backdrop. The interview in its entirety seems to be an attempt at whitewashing the Janapriya Nayakan’s accused image.

Let’s look into what exactly Dileep had to say in the interview with Vijeesh Gopinath.

The actor begins by speaking about his recently released film Kesu Ee Veedinte Nadhan, and then reminiscing of his childhood memories, financial struggles, and so on. When he moves on to addressing the sexual assault case, Dileep says, “I have answers for all the allegations raised against me. However, I am unable to speak about it to the public or media as the case is still in court. I can only speak in court. I am someone who believes in law and order. I have utmost faith in god, the courts, and truth. The truth will come out, until then I have only one prayer, I should not lose my mental strength and life.”

On February 17, 2017, a female Malayalam actor was abducted and sexually assaulted in a moving vehicle. Actor Dileep was arrested that July after investigations pointed to him having orchestrated the assault. The case has been pending in court for years now and has seen several major twists and turns with recent revelations against the actor reigniting public interest.

To a question from the interviewer on what these four years have taught him, Dileep says that he understood it is family and friends that stand with him during such situations. He also adds that he took the initiative to talk to people who spoke against him and “mistook” him.

Dileep’s wife, Kavya Madhavan, then speaks about the “bad mental stress” she went through when her husband was arrested a few months after their marriage.

Dileep, meanwhile, takes pains to mention that his mother was completely shattered by what happened to him. 

He also notes that he is indebted to the audience for their reception to Ramaleela. “It was the first film that was released when I was at the worst phase of my life.” 

Ramaleela had been released just a couple of months after his arrest.


He recalls that there were protests to boycott the film till the day before to its release. “However, the audiences received the film well and made it a super hit. That’s why I am able to sit here and talk about it today,” he says, adding that but for that, it would have taken a lot of time for him to come back.

The interview also tries to gain sympathy for the actor by noting that he had earlier confessed that he wanted to die by suicide after producing the film Twenty: 20

“I don’t know why people have so much enmity against me,” Dileep says at one point. “I am an artist who aims to make people smile. I have a mother, brother, wife and daughters. Their future depends on me. That’s why I am fighting this battle, for my family. This phase will pass,” he adds.

He also states that he is believer and says it is his belief that everything happening to him is due to his bad time (“samaya dhosham“). 


Meanwhile, breaking her long silence, the survivor publicly opened up for the first time on Monday, through her official social media account. In her Instagram post, she extended her gratitude to all those who have supported her.

Dileep, who was granted bail in 2017 in the sexual assault case, has recently been charged with plotting to kill the police officers who were investigating that case. His anticipatory bail plea in the new FIR is up for hearing on Friday.

For a full timeline of the female actor abduction and assault case, see here.