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Fans believe that's not her in video

After going on her Facebook page to deny her involvement in the video, Vasantham artist Udaya Soundari received hundreds of messages from fans, colleagues and loved ones.

They said they believe her and will always support her.

Her family is also standing by her.

Her Vasantham colleague, Jaenani Netra, commented on Udaya's Facebook post, telling her that the negative comments would eventually stop.

She added: "You continue doing the work you are doing on TV now. Genuine fans will continue giving you love and support!"

Fan Josephine Simon Dorai wrote: "Don't worry too much, Udaya Soundari. At one glance, we knew it is not you. We are always with you. Keep on rocking with your beautiful hosting and wonderful acting!"

'BE BRAVE'

Another fan, Vyn Thayv, wrote: "Don't worry, gal. We're always with you. It's definitely not you in that video. Be brave and fight on."

One of Udaya's closest friends, Ms Manjula Balakrishnan, 36, said the normally strong and bubbly actress broke down after realising the seriousness of the situation and could not be consoled.

"I told her to hang in there and that the majority of her huge fan base would support her. I assured her that her friends would be there for her and that we would find out who did this," Ms Manjula said.

"It is very unfortunate that she was targeted because of her popularity. No woman should ever have to go through this."

Describing Udala as very traumatised, she added: "She has been receiving hundreds of messages every day, even from secondary school children who look up to her. It is reassuring that most of the messages have been nothing but positive."

Ms Manjula said she couldn't comprehend why a person would find joy in hurting someone in this way.

"We just want people to know that it isn't her in the video," she added.

- LATASHNI GOBI NATHAN