JAIPUR, India (Reuters) - An Indian court ordered the arrest of Hollywood star Richard Gere Thursday for kissing Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty at an AIDS campaign event this month saying it was an obscene act committed in public.
Gere's repeated kisses on Shetty's cheeks at an event to promote AIDS awareness in New Delhi sparked protests in some parts of India, mostly by Hindu vigilante groups, who saw it as an outrage against her modesty and an affront to Indian culture.
The order by a court in the northern city of Jaipur came in response to a complaint by a local lawyer.
The judge watched a video recording of Gere kissing Shetty and found him guilty of violating Indian laws against public obscenity, the lawyer, Poonam Chand Bhandari, said.
Is there any chance that Richard Gere can get set up with Elizabeth Hurley? Together they could bring much more shame and scandal upon India. We are very glad that these two are the West’s ambassadors to South Asia. Granted that cultural sensitivity is perhaps over-emphasized these days, but try to avoid gaffes that split you from your family or get warrants issued for your arrest. In Richard Gere’s case this whole thing was a little unreasonable. He’s purportedly a serious Buddhist, you would think that he’s visited India a time or two. In Liz Hurley’s case, you would think that the wedding planner would have been able to step in and help her glide past some of these no-no’s. And India’s not getting off the hook either, how can the country that invented the Kama Sutra get so incensed by a little kiss? Maybe someone in Bollywood will model villains after Gere and Hurley for the next Aishwarya Rai feature.