India’s Supreme Court temporarily suspended on Tuesday an arrest warrant for actor Richard Gere, who was wanted for allegedly breaking public obscenity laws by kissing Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty.
The court suspended all legal proceedings against the pair until it decides on the proper jurisdiction for the case.
Gere embraced and kissed Shetty on her cheek at a public AIDS awareness event in New Delhi last month, prompting Hindu hard-liners to allege the pair had offended the sensibilities of India’s traditionally conservative culture.
The case has grabbed headlines, although the allegations have failed to stir any wider outrage among Indians, most of whom have responded with either mocking bemusement or utter indifference.
Gere, 57, apologized for any offense he may have caused. But he also said the whole controversy was manufactured by a small hard-line political party.
Shetty, a well-known actress in India, became an international star after her appearance on the British reality show “Celebrity Big Brother.”
A fellow contestant, Jade Goody, sparked international headlines by allegedly making racist comments to Shetty, 31. The comments sparked public outrage in Britain and India and Shetty went on to win the competition.