File Photo: Rania Youssef (AFP)
Egyptian actress Rania Youssef said on Saturday that in hindsight she would have not worn the controversial black dress to the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) over the weekend had she known the angry reactions it would stir.
In an official post on Facebook, the well-known 45-year-old actress said she "did not intend to have her appearance outrage many who have viewed the dress as inappropriate."
Youssef was harshly criticized by many social media users for wearing the see-through dress, which revealed the entirety of her legs, at the closing ceremony of CIFF.
Earlier on Saturday, a Cairo misdemeanor court set 12 January to start Youssef's trial on charges of "inciting debauchery."
Three lawyers had filed complaints accusing the actress of "committing an obscene act in public, incitinting debauchery, lechery, temptation, and spreading vice in ways that violate established norms in Egyptian society."
Youssef said she released the statement out of "respect to the feelings of every Egyptian family angered by the dress."
She added that the opinions of fashion designers and experts usually affect decisions related to choices of clothing, adding that they have taken into their consideration that the dress was worn during an international festival.
“I reiterate my commitment to the values and morals which we were raised with in our Egyptian society, and which will always be respected,” she said, adding that she hopes that everyone understands her good intentions and her unwillingness to anger anyone.
Youssef concluded by saying that she appreciates her membership in the actors’ syndicate, and its role in enlightenment and protections of values and defence of arts and artists.
She is well known for roles in the TV series, including Haj Metwally, Ahl Cairo, and more recently, Kaeno Embareh.
On the big screen, Youssef starred in Zahaimer (2010), An Ant's Cry (2011) and A Complete One (2011).