Filmmaker Jami Recounts How His Painful Ordeal Affected Him
Pakistani filmmaker Jamshed Mehmood, popularly known as Jami, recently revealed that he was raped by a powerful person in media. His ordeal resulted in both condemnation and disbelief. Those who condemned also sympathised with the filmmaker. However, the filmmaker did not reveal the identity of his rapist.
In comments to Gulf News, Jami has narrated his traumatic ordeal; how he came to know his abuser and how he came to be abused by him.
Jami revealed that the perpetrator was involved in many projects and he was introduced to him through a friend. The filmmaker used to photograph for popular magazines. He started working for his abuser and did what he described as ‘tough and intense work’. Jami usually met him at his place, and always in the afternoon.
He continued to meet him for two to three months and the two became good friends. Jami described his abuser as someone who was aggressive, always on the go, and that he was also not a stable human being. It was because of this, Jami stated, that he wanted to speak up about him.
On the day of the abuse, Jami went to his place, and before going to his room, had food with his abuser’s mother.
Jami narrates that when he met him, he changed from what he generally was. “It happened in seconds. He changed to a different mode. He was not the same man. The sophistication vanished. He started to mumble. He was all over me. Jami, you’re beautiful. It went ugly from there.”
At that point, Jami froze and shut his eyes, an act that he regrets as he believes he could have hit his abuser. The abuser also choked Jami. “That’s when I was really scared. I had heard of rapists killing their victims,” the filmmaker confided.
His abuser was sitting on his bed and asked Jami to sit down and stay silent. According to Jami, his abuser was very assertive at that point.
Jami added that he was not stoned or drunk. He added, “No, I wasn’t a closet homosexual. I had never had a sexual thought about any man.”
Jami narrates that the assault lasted for a few minutes, and he kept saying ‘no’ and ‘stop’ as it happened.
Jami stated, “With people like him it’s about power. Even if you weren’t interested, he’d have his way. I’m so powerful, so sophisticated, so well-educated. You’ll do my bidding.”
Following the assault, Jami’s abuser even asked him if he had enjoyed it. Jami was in a state of shock and he left the place by making an excuse.
Jami went home to his wife and told her what had happened. To add to his pain, Jami’s father died three weeks later.
Following the rape, Jami says that he became very aggressive and he started suffering from anxiety. Attempts to treat his anxiety made his health worse, affecting his memory. His work got affected and he would increasingly get into fights.
Regarding why he decided to speak up now, Jami said the reason was Professor Afzal’s suicide, the college professor who committed suicide because his administration failed to clear his name in sexual harassment allegation.
Jami says after the teacher’s suicide, the MeToo movement was attacked and was being derailed. People had started to say that the movement was being used to make false allegations.
Jami said that it was the attack on the MeToo movement that pushed him to speaking up about his experience.
He added, “I had to say that victims and survivors don’t lie. I had never thought if I’d ever be able to speak up about my rape. I didn’t even think about it. I didn’t ask anyone. I didn’t tell anyone. I just went ahead. I thought that was the only way. It was suicide but it was time.”