‘Like a raped woman’: Women’s group demands apology from Bollywood star

Story highlights

Salman Khan is one of India's most bankable and controversial stars

Bollywood star was describing filming a difficult scene in new film Sultan

CNN  — 

An Indian women’s group has given Bollywood star Salman Khan one week to apologize or face a summons after he said he felt like a “raped woman” during an arduous film shoot.

The National Commission for Women issued the deadline to the popular Indian celebrity after comments he made during a press conference on Saturday.

Khan told reporters that, after several hours of filming in the wrestling ring for his upcoming film Sultan, he walked out like a “raped woman.”

Commission chief Lalitha Kumaramangalam demanded an apology, telling CNN that the comment was a manifestation of India’s “patriarchal attitude.”

“Given the fact that he’s such a public and popular figure, especially with someone of his standing in this country, especially when he’s seen as an icon, it’s unfortunate [and] reprehensible,” she said.

“We’re not trying to conduct a witch hunt. I only want him to apologize. Nobody is asking him to grovel.”

Kumaramangalam told the Press Trust of India that Khan would be issued with a summons to explain himself before the commission if he failed to respond.

This isn’t the first time Khan has caused controversy. In December 2015, the superstar avoided a lengthy prison sentence when the Mumbai High Court threw out a conviction over a fatal hit-and-run.

‘To err is human, to forgive divine’

The Bollywood star made the comments while discussing how grueling the film shoot was for his upcoming wrestling movie Sultan.

“If I were to pick up a 120-kilo person and drop him down I would do it 10 times – in a wrestling match it happens once, twice,” he said.

“Ten times from five different angles, so for six-and-a-half to seven hours either I’m picking up and I’m throwing or he’s picking up and he’s throwing. So it is like the most difficult thing. When I walk out of that ring it is actually like a raped woman walking out.”

As soon as he made the comment, Khan appeared to regret his choice of words. “I don’t think I should have [said that],” he said immediately afterwards. “For me, it’s like the most difficult. I couldn’t take steps.”

A number of horrific rape cases in India have made international news in the past few years, including the 2012 rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman by four men on a bus in New Delhi.

Taking to Twitter to defend his son, scriptwriter Salim Khan said while what Salman said was wrong, he hadn’t intended to offend.

“Nevertheless I apologize on behalf of his family his fans & his friends. Forgiveness is to pardon the unpardonable or it is no virtue at all,” he wrote. “To err is human to forgive divine.”

CNN’s Wu Huizhong contributed to this report