The MeToo movement against oppression at the workplace that started after Tanushree Dutta’s allegations against veteran actor Nana Patekar seemed to have lost steam, however, with filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani facing sexual allegations while the shooting of Sanju, the movement has again made headlines. While the woman, who has accused Hirani, says she was harassed for more than 6 months, Hirani has expressed shock over allegations and defended himself stating that he was the first to suggest that the matter be taken to any legal body.
The woman reportedly detailed out the allegations to Hirani’s close friend and producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra in an email dated November 3, 2018, worth mentioning is that Vinod has refused to comment on the allegations. The woman has said that Hirani first passed a sexually offensive remark to her and then assaulted her at his home office.
Vinod’s wife and journalist Anupama Chopra was also marked in the email, along with scriptwriter Abhijat Joshi, who has been associated with Hirani through PK, Lage Raho Munna Bhai.
WHAT THE WOMAN HAS SAID?
In her email to Vinod and the aforementioned persons, the woman has alleged that on April 9, 2018, Hirani assaulted her at his home office. “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,” the woman was quoted by HuffPost India as saying in her email to Chopra.
In an interview with the HuffPost India, the woman reiterated the allegations and said that she was even intimidated by Hirani. On being asked why she didn’t reveal it earlier, the woman said she took the pain to conceal Hirani’s deeds and maintained a “facade of normalcy” as her father is suffering from a terminal illness.
RAJKUMAR HIRANI’S ACCOUNT
Hirani, through his lawyer Desai, has issued a statement saying that the allegations made are “false, mischievous, scandalous, motivated and defamatory”. On being asked about the email, Hirani said that he replied to Chopra on November 22, 2018, denying the allegations.
As for Hirani’s upcoming project, the trailer of Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga, that Hirani’ has co-produced, makes no mention of him.