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Rakul Preet Singh’s Response to Online Abuser Backfires Copyrighted Photos

Actor Rakul Preet Singh has found herself in the middle of a controversy on — no points for guessing — Twitter. In reply to a vulgar troll who tried to slut shame her for her clothes in a paparazzi picture, Rakul Preet decided to shut him up with a dose of his own medicine. Except, the actor’s tweet was loaded with sexist abuse as well; she slut shamed the troll’s mother, who had nothing to do with the entire saga.

On January 16, a Twitter user, @bhagath9_9 (who seems to have changed his handle after the controversy broke out), tweeted a picture of Rakul Preet getting out of a car, and captioned it, “When she forgot to wear her pant after the session in car.” The user’s reference to Rakul’s short outfit was picked up by other trolls, who also piled on the abuse at the actor.

In response to this, Rakul Preet invoked the troll’s mother — a poor refrain that several people resort to online, when faced with trolls. She tweeted, “I think your mother does a lot of sessions in the car so you are an expert !! Ask her to give u some sense also besides these session details .. till the time people like this exist women can’t be safe .. just debating about equality and safety won’t help.. #sickmind.”

While the troll’s original tweet has been deleted, Rakul’s reply has drawn criticism from several people, who have pointed out that the actor did not need to get down to the troll’s level in her response.

Rakul has however defended her tweet, asking people to speak out when women are trolled instead of policing her comments.

The actor did find some support, including from singer Chinmayi, who has been constantly facing abuse online since she accused singer Vairamuthu of sexual harassment. Chinmayi defended Rakul’s tweet, and said that the people asking Rakul to word her dissent in a decent manner were the same ones who would use sexist abuses about mothers and sisters.

Rakul started off her career as a model while she was just 18 and still in college. In 2009 she made her acting debut in the Kannada film, Gilli. She then participated in the 2011 Femina Miss India pageant. Apart from the People’s Choice Miss Indiatimes, she won four titles at the pageant including Pantaloons Femina Miss Fresh Face, Femina Miss Talented, Femina Miss Beautiful Smile and Femina Miss Beautiful Eyes. She made her Tamil debut with Thadaiyara Thaakka alongside Arun Vijay. The actor won praise for her performance in Spyder directed by AR Murugadoss.

On the work front, Rakul is awaiting the release of her next film Dev, starring Karthi in the lead. The pair had previously worked together for Theeran Adhigaram Ondru. She also has Suriya’s NGK, directed by Selvaraghavan, De De Pyaar De, Marjaavan, an untitled film with Sivakarthikeyan and Telugu film Venky Mama at different stages of production.