A while ago, Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta opened up about being sexually harassed by one of her former co-stars, Nana Patekar. While Nana rubbished the allegations, most of the industry kept mum initially. However, a few names like Richa Chadha, Farhan Akhtar, Swara Bhaskar, Twinkle Khanna, and Priyanka Chopra did come forward and rooted for Dutta. Gradually, several other stars like Kajol, Varun Dhawan, Ayushmann Khurrana and many more addressed the issue instead of saying, “Next question, please,” during various press conferences respectively.
Just a couple of weeks after Tanushree stood up for herself, many women across the country took to Twitter to call out various men who made them feel uncomfortable. And that marked the beginning of a revolution of sorts on the Indian Internet. I guess India’s #MeToo movement has finally begun. Earlier in the day, Huffpost India published an article about a crew member accusing Queen director Vikas Bahl of sexual harassment. We got in touch with the film’s actress Kangana Ranaut and she not only supported the girl but also shared her not-so-comfortable experiences with Bahl.
Director Mahesh Bhatt‘s elder daughter Pooja Bhatt also recently spoke about being molested by a friend once. Clearly, the #TimesUp for all the predators out there as more and more women are coming forward and calling out their abusers.
Today, another noted actress called out Vikas Bahl and shared her experience with MissMalini on the condition of anonymity:
He’s (Vikas Bhal) has always been dodgy, so I’ve never hung out with him alone for that reason. One day he was having a party where a lot of people I knew were going so I felt safe. But he got really drunk (or pretended to be) and he forcibly tried to kiss me on the lips, I pushed him and left immediately and he pretended not to see me leaving. At least 20 other people were at this party. I left in a rush went to my boyfriends house because I was so disgusted but he kept sending me texts – saying “Why did you leave, I could have dropped you”. I wasn’t drinking, smoking, smoking up or doing anything. I had just had my dinner and gone with some writer buddies.
That’s his strategy, he pretends to be drunk. He caught the corner of my mouth when he tried to kiss me and I pushed him, not enough people were around to have seen it. But after I left he kept asking, “Are you hungry, should I make you some kebabs, did you eat?” feigning ignorance. That’s what he does. Pretending to be drunk then saying things like, “I didn’t do anything, did you do something?”
This is why I am not requesting him for work, and have boycotted him entirely socially and professionally. His ex-wife knew about his shenanigans too. He’s basically ruined her life. He got fired from some places he worked at before on similar ground. My question is why start a company with a repeat offender when you know? This can’t be a surprise to anyone. I am somebody, I have a career and am an actress of repute. Someone who should not be afraid to call cops on such a man and I am yet afraid to name names.
Her boyfriend has corroborated her story.