Indian actor Alia Bhatt has slammed the paparazzi’s “gross invasion” of her privacy after secret photos were taken of her from a neighbouring building. The two side by side photos were shared by ETimes on their Instagram account.
Bhatt re-shared the post to her Instagram story on Tuesday “Are you kidding me? I was at my house having a perfectly normal afternoon sitting in my LIVING ROOM when I felt something watching me.. I looked up and saw two men on the terrace of my neighbouring building with a camera right at me!” she wrote.
“In what world is this okay and allowed? This is a gross invasion of someone’s privacy! There’s a line you just cannot cross and it’s safe to say all lines were crossed today!” She also tagged the Mumbai Police in her post.
Soon after, the Gangubai Kathiawadi actor’s sister, Shaheen Bhatt also took to her Instagram stories where she asked if it’s “cool” for people to point zoom lenses into homes while hiding in neighbouring buildings “for content”.
“Grown men. With cameras. hiding across the road. Taking surreptitious photos of an UNAWARE woman. Without her CONSENT. In her HOME. The fact that the person in the photo is a celebrity does not somehow make this okay. If this was any other situation, with any other person, this would be considered harassment and a complete assault on privacy. Which is what it is. The lack of basic human decency is honestly terrifying,” she wrote.
Bhatt’s 2 States co-star Arjun Kapoor also showed support on his Instagram stories where he called this “shameless” and said it is “crossing all limits”.
“If a woman isn’t feeling safe in her own home forget if she is a public figure or not for a second… Any sane person who takes photographs of public figures, for a living, needs to know that this is pathetic conduct and these are people in the media we have trusted and shown implicit faith in, believing they are here to do a job not to make women feel unsafe or invade one’s privacy,” he reasoned.
Kapoor added that Bhatt’s experience is nothing short of stalking. He also tagged the Mumbai Police in his post.
His step-sister Janhvi Kapoor also sympathised with Bhatt and shared a harrowing experience of her own. In a now deleted Instagram story, she shared, “This is disgustingly intrusive. This publication has repeatedly done things like this. Including, despite my continuous requests, photographed me unaware, inside the gym I go to while working out through the glass door. In a space that is supposed to be private, where one does not anticipate to get photographed.”
The Mili actor added that she understands members of the media showing up to places in plain sight and doing their job where there is a mutual understanding of the job and requirements of being a public figure. But for her, “this stealthiness” of zooming into someone’s private space, that too without their consent or awareness, and calling it exclusive as if it’s a “journalistic accomplishment” is far from it.
Anushka Sharma also reposted Bhatt’s initial Instagram story and shared her own experience. She said that this is not the first time the paparazzi are doing this. “About two years ago we called them out for the same reason! You’d think it would have made them more respectful of people’s space and privacy. Absolutely shameful!”
She shared that the same publication had been sharing photos of her and Virat Kohli’s daughter, Vamika, without their consent even after the couple had repeatedly requested the media to not share their daughter’s photos.
Filmmaker Karan Johar said there is “no justification to this absolutely disgusting invasion of privacy”. He said that everyone from the entertainment industry is always for the media and the paparazzi and are accommodating but there “has to be a limit”.
“This is about anyone’s right to feel safe in their own homes! This is not about actors or celebrities. It’s basic human right!” he reasoned.
Bhatt gave birth to her first child with husband Ranbir Kapoor in November. She will next be seen on the silver screen in Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani with Ranveer Singh, Preity Zinta, Shabana Azmi, Dharmendra and other stars. The film will release in Indian theatres on July 28 this year. She is also gearing up for her Hollywood debut in Heart of Stone, starring Gal Gadot and Jamie Dornan. It will release on August 11 on Netflix.