India Lifts Gere Kiss Warrant

Charges from smooch that scandalized India dropped
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2008 6:11 AM CDT

(Newser) – An Indian court has lifted an arrest warrant for Richard Gere issued last year after he publicly kissed a Bollywood star on the cheek, AFP reports. Outraged Hindus held rallies and burned Gere in effigy after he planted a few kisses on Shilpa Shetty at an AIDS awareness rally. "The case brings a bad name to the country," a justice from the country's Supreme Court said.

The kiss in front of an audience of Rajasthani truck drivers caused a media storm in India. Shetty, who had the warrant against her lifted last May, blamed the outrage and the public obscenity charges on the country's "lunatic fringe." Gere, who had been a frequent visitor to the country before the kissing row erupted, is now free to return to India without fear of arrest.