In a surprising turn of events, singer Meesha Shafi admitted in court that women can lie publicly and level serious false allegations against anyone, as she faced cross-examination in a defamation case filed against her by popular singer Ali Zafar.
The proceedings took place at a Lahore district court where Shafi’s counsel raised objections to the line of questioning, deeming it irrelevant and repetitive.
During the cross-examination, Zafar’s lawyer questioned Shafi about her opinion regarding the allegations made by Talia Mirza against her brother, Faris Shafi. Shafi responded by stating that Mirza confronted Faris based on something she felt, and he offered her an apology.
When pressed further about whether she believed Mirza’s allegations against her brother, Shafi hesitated to give a simple yes or no answer. She expressed doubts about Mirza’s credibility, stating that since Mirza had lied about the allegations against her, it became challenging to believe her.
The lawyer continued by asking for evidence to support Shafi’s claims that Mirza’s allegations, accusing her of using degrading names and engaging in sexual relationships with producers and directors, were incorrect. Shafi pointed to the quantity and quality of work she undertook during the project, arguing that her busy schedule left no room for such behavior.
Zafar’s lawyer then asked Shafi if she believed that women could lie publicly by leveling false allegations. Shafi responded by stating that “anything is possible.” However, the defendant’s counsel objected, arguing that the questions were repetitive and irrelevant.
Further questioning focused on Mirza’s motive behind the alleged false allegations. Shafi admitted that she had not deeply considered Mirza’s statements and emphasised that many people say horrible things about her. When asked if she did not want the court to believe Mirza’s allegations because they were posted on social media without credible evidence, Shafi maintained that she was simply giving her honest answers based on what she remembered.
The lawyer alleged that Shafi had levied false allegations of sexual harassment with the intention of hurting Zafar financially and damaging his reputation. Shafi vehemently denied these allegations, stating that her motive was not to misuse the Me Too movement or gain publicity, work, or international recognition.
She also denied orchestrating the involvement of other women to launch a Me Too movement in Pakistan. Shafi firmly stood by her allegations of sexual harassment, refuting claims that they were false, frivolous, and defamatory.
Earlier in the proceedings, Shafi admitted to posting a picture with Ali Zafar on her Facebook account. The picture, captioned “Tonight we party! Happy Birthday Ayesha Fazli,” was presented as evidence of sexual harassment. Initially, Shafi couldn’t verify if she had posted the picture but later acknowledged that she did post it, though she was unable to recall the exact caption.
It is important to note that the case stems from Shafi’s accusations of sexual harassment against Ali Zafar in 2018. At the time, Shafi took to Twitter to share her experience, hoping to break the culture of silence surrounding such issues.
The court proceedings continue, and both parties will present their respective evidence and arguments to support their claims. The case has garnered significant attention as it touches upon important issues of credibility, false allegations, and the impact of social media in the Me Too era.