LATEST: Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty has defended actor Richard Gere after his public show of affection sparked protests in India. The Pretty Woman star swept the popular Bollywood actress into his arms and kissed her several times during an AIDS-awareness event last weekend (15Apr07). The action has outraged Indians, who feel Gere went too far in a country where such public displays of affection are largely taboo. Angry crowds burned effigies of Gere during demonstrations last Monday (16Apr07) after photographs of him embracing and kissing Shetty appeared on the front pages of India's leading national newspapers. But Shetty has defended Gere, saying, "What he did was very sweet. It was all in good humour. He especially told me to tell the media that he didn't want to hurt any Indian sensibilities." And she admits the actor has apologised "profusely" to her following the kiss.