Eight years ago, she was one of the most visible faces in Tamil Nadu. Vernacular magazines featured her on their cover for weeks and pasted posters across the State. News bulletins in Tamil satellite channels too did not end without a mention of her. Even a judge of the Madras High Court summoned her to the court hall while hearing a case, which is quite unusual as the presence of an accused/petitioner is normally required only in the trial court.
But on Monday, ‘Sivakasi’ Jayalakshmi, a divorced mother of two grown up children, who earned her prefix since she hailed from Sivakasi, tried hard to shy away from the media. After she was convicted in four cheating cases, she stayed put in the court hall to avoid being filmed. A year ago, when she had come for another court hearing she had given a mouthful to waiting media crews, questioning if they had no other work.
Back in 2004, she was only too willing to grant interviews and even allowed journalists to trail her for ‘exclusives’. The media first took notice of Jayalakshmi when her father filed a habeas corpus petition in the Madras HC as she was missing. He suspected that some policemen had murdered her though she was traced to a lodge in Vellore within days.