April 10, 2008 / 1:28 AM / in 10 years

Gere cites "insane courage" in India kissing row

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.”

<p>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</p>

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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