The ripples of the #MeToo movement which rocked Bollywood had reached the Malayalam film industry as well. Everyone was shocked when actress Divya Gopinath made some serious allegations against award winning actor Alencier Ley Lopez.
Following the controversy, Alencier had apologized to the actress and had said that he regretted his actions. Now, in an exclusive interview to a television channel, Alencier opened up about the trauma that he went through during those times. He even admitted, in the interview, that his behavior to both men and women had at times been unacceptable. The actor added that he had no hard feelings against Divya and that he had already apologized to her.
Alencier confessed he was still alive because of the support and trust that the cast and crew of the movie, including Biju Menon, Sandip Senan and Sudhi kopa had shown him. The actor claims that many artists from the commercial cinema industry had called him and his family to extend their support. He admitted he was emotionally shattered when his close friends of 30 years snubbed him while those who knew him for the last three years stood with him. During the filming of Sathyam Paranjal Vishwasikuo, Alencier had stayed at a house along with the other cast members. He said had he stayed alone at a hotel room, he would have taken his own life.
“When I realized that my behavior wasn’t great, I had apologized to her. I even publicly apologized once when she demanded it. I can vow that I had honestly apologized then. I didn’t mean to hurt her. Sometimes, my conversations and friendly nature, to both men and women, had diverted to where it becomes unpleasant or unacceptable. When something of that sort had happened, I immediately apologized to her,” claimed Alencier.
“The MeToo allegation against me would be the most celebrated one in the Malayalam cinema industry. I felt like laughing when I heard this news for the first time. I suddenly became the character actor who was branded the ‘number one’ abuser of Malayalam cinema. I hope at least someone has the integrity to open up honestly,” noted Alencier.
Referring to a comment that popular screenwriter Syam Pushkaran had made about him, Alencier noted he had realized during the post allegation days that friendship wasn’t just as insignificant as 'coconut'. He came to know about Pushkaran’s comment while he was on the sets of his latest movie Sathyam Paranjal Vishwasikuvo. Syam had said that though Alencier was a friend and requested the support of him and others, they took a stance not to stand by him. When Divya Gopinath had made allegations against Alencier, renowned screen writer Syam Pushkaran and film maker Aashiq Abu were among those who lashed out against the actor and extended their support to Divya. “MeToo is a significant movement which is to be taken seriously. Alencier was one of our friends. We have even done a few films with him. When there was a metoo allegation against him, he had called asking for a compromise. However, we made it clear that until there is a solution for this, which is acceptable for the victim as well, we weren’t ready for any friendly conversation. Friendship is just coconut. It is nothing but humanity that matters,” Syam Pushkaran had said at an event.