Gere cites "insane courage" in India kissing row

SAN FRANCISCO Thu Apr 10, 2008 6:55am IST

Actor Richard Gere kisses Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty during an AIDS awareness event in New Delhi, April 15, 2007. Gere, who until recently faced Indian obscenity charges for publicly kissing a Bollywood star, called his troubles on Tuesday ''a badge of courage.'' REUTERS/Tanushree Punwani

Actor Richard Gere kisses Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty during an AIDS awareness event in New Delhi, April 15, 2007. Gere, who until recently faced Indian obscenity charges for publicly kissing a Bollywood star, called his troubles on Tuesday ''a badge of courage.''

Credit: Reuters/Tanushree Punwani

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Actor Richard Gere, who until recently faced Indian obscenity charges for publicly kissing a Bollywood star, called his troubles on Tuesday "a badge of courage."

Gere made headlines when he kissed Shilpa Shetty, winner of the British reality television show "Celebrity Big Brother," several times on the cheek at an anti-AIDS show in New Delhi last year.

"It's a badge of somewhat insane courage," he told Reuters during a visit to San Francisco on Tuesday, saying others had also been charged with similar offenses in the past. "It is a very complex society."

In March, India's Supreme Court suspended the legal proceedings and granted Gere permission to again travel to and from India.

Gere was visiting San Francisco to attend a pro-Tibet rally ahead of the running of the Olympic torch in the city on Wednesday.

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