The #MeToo movement in India has taken a storm after Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutt accused Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her on the sets of Horn Ok Pleasss in 2008.
More and more women stepping up and sharing their horrifying experiences. Till now, several prominent personalities from the industry including Rohit Roy, Subhash Ghai, Alok Nath, Kailash Kher, Vikas Bahl, Chetan Bhagat, Rajat Kapoor have been accused of sexual harassment.
Amid all this, now filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani has been accused of sexual harassment by a female assistant who worked with him on Sanju.
Rajkumar Hirani accused of sexual harassment
The women claims that he sexually assaulted her over a period of 6 months between March and September 2018. She claims that he harassed her during the post-production of Sanju.
However, Rajkumar Hirani denied all the allegations. His lawyer Anang Desai said, “At the outset, our client states that the allegations made against him are false, mischievous, scandalous, motivated and defamatory.”
The woman detailed her allegations in an email dated November 3, 2018 to Hirani’s Sanju co-producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra. She also marked the mail to Vidhu’s wife and film journalist Anupama Chopra as well as to Hirani’s co-writer Abhijat Joshi, said the HuffPost India article.
Speaking about the allegations against him, Rajkumari Hirani has released a statement in which he has said that, “I was completely shocked when these allegations were brought to my notice about two months back. I had suggested immediately that it is essential to take this matter to any committee or any legal body. The complainant has chosen to go to the media instead. I want to very strongly state that this is a false malicious and mischievous story being spread with the sole intention of destroying my reputation.”
In her mail, the woman has reportedly revealed that the ‘3 Idiots’ filmmaker sexually harassed her for the first time on 9th April 2018 in his office.
She wrote, “I remember forming these words on my lips – “Sir. This is wrong…Because of this power structure. You being the absolute power and me being a mere assistant, a nobody – I will never be able to express myself to you. My mind, body and heart were grossly violated that night and for the next 6 months.”
“I had no choice but to be polite to him. It was unbearable but the reason I endured it all, until I couldn’t, was because I didn’t want my job to be taken away from me, and work to be questioned. Ever I was worried that if I left midway, it would be impossible to find another job in this industry if he were to speak badly about my work”. she added.
The filmmaker’s close friend and partner Vidhu Vinod Chopra has refused to comment on the issue. However, his wife and popular journalist Anupama Chopra said, “I’ve met the complainant twice. Both times, I have offered my full support and recommended that she take the complaint to a legal body or a neutral party since we cannot be arbitrators or judges on this. We also offered to set up an ICC at VCF (which we have set up since then) even though a VCF ICC could not have taken up the case since she was an RHF (Rajkumar Hirani Films) employee at the time. These are two separate companies”.