A social media storm has erupted after Bollywood actress Sunny Leone was harshly questioned by Indian journalist Bhupendra Chaubey. The former adult movie star faced a series of questions about her "past" and was also asked whether she was responsible for the rise in porn consumption in India.
Following the airing of the interview on 19 January, thousands of people took to social media to defend the actress. CNN IBN's Chaubey was strongly criticised by many for his "misogynistic" approach to the interview, during which he repeatedly attempted to ask Leone whether she regretted her past in the porn industry. Despite her saying she did not, the journalist continued to question Leone on her past for the 20-minute-long interview.
Leone has since been commended for the way she handled the probe, with many praising her bravery and dignity during the ordeal. On 20 January Leone told BBC Newshour that she had "no idea" that she was going to be questioned in the manner that she was and that she was "hurt and quite upset" by the way it had gone.
Leone said: "It felt like an interrogation more than an interview. I knew that it was wrong while it was happening but I wasn't going to get up and let him know that he had got the better of me and not finish the interview."
A number of Bollywood actors have since come out in support of the actress, including Aamir Khan, whose name was brought up during the interview. Journalist Chaubey asked Leone whether she thought Khan would ever consider appearing in a movie with her given her past in the porn industry. Leone replied "probably not", but said she would love to work with him.
On 20 January Khan took to Twitter to say he would be happy to work with her and that he had "absolutely no problems" with her past. He commended Leone for her "grace and dignity" and hit out at Chaubey by saying he could not say the same for him. Leone responded to the actor's message with delight, saying that her "heart just dropped" and that it "means the world and beyond" to her.
Here's now Leone's industry colleagues responded to the controversial interview.
Sushant Singh Rajput