With Bill Cosby sentenced for three to 10 years in prison on account of sexually harassing Andrea Constand, it is believed that the #MeToo movement will instill a sense of security in women to share their experiences. However when Bollywood actor, Tanushree Dutta spoke about her sexual harassment in 2008, not many paid heed to it.
Tanushree, who moved to the US 10 years ago, has now returned to India to talk about her alleged harasser, Bollywood star Nana Patekar. She claims that she was harassed by Nana on the sets of the movie, Horn Ok Pleassss in 2008. In an exclusive interview with Zoom TV, Tanushree shared details about her harrowing experience.
“From the very beginning, Nana tried to get intimate with me and made me extremely uncomfortable on set. He would grab my arm and push me around, telling me what to do. In fact, this one time, he asked the choreographers to step back and decided that he would teach me how to dance.”
When asked if she ever felt comfortable sharing her experience with other co-stars or people of the industry, she said that she understood the mentality of the people in the Bollywood industry. Not only co-stars, but the director and producer of the film refused to extend any help and support to her.
“I blame Ganesh Acharya, the choreographer, Samee Siddiqui, the producer and Rakesh Sarang, the director equally for what happened with me. I reached out to them for help but instead of paying heed to my concern, they were keen on entertaining Nana’s demands. He then wanted to add an intimate dance sequence with me in the song, even though it was not part of the contract.”
Not only was she allegedly harassed by the Welcome star, but she also fell victim to “mob lynching” amidst all this. She revealed that while she was sitting in her car alongside her parents, it was attacked by both the media and a political party’s workers. “Just the mere thought that one of us could have gotten hurt still sends chills down my spine,” she added.
She accused Akshay Kumar and Rajinikanth of continuing to work with a perpetrator despite knowing he has a history of not only harassing and molesting women but also of physically assaulting them.
“What example are you setting for your daughter that it is ok if a man harasses you, just live with it? If God has bestowed them with a position of power, why are they not using it to speak against harassment of women?” she said referring to Akshay and Rajinikanth who have both worked with Nana.
Watch the full interview here: