Ra­jku­mar Hirani ac­cused of sex­ual as­sault

Ac­cord­ing to a Huf­fpost In­dia ar­ti­cle, the woman claimed that Hirani sex­u­ally abused her on more than one oc­ca­sion over a six-month pe­riod be­tween March and Septem­ber 2018

The Gulf Today - - ASIA -

MUM­BAI: Film maker Ra­jku­mar Hirani has been ac­cused of sex­ual as­sault by a woman who worked with him in his 2018 ilm Sanju. He has de­nied the al­le­ga­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to a Huf­fpost In­dia ar­ti­cle on Sun­day, the woman claimed that Hirani sex­u­ally abused her on more than one oc­ca­sion over a six-month pe­riod be­tween March and Septem­ber 2018.

The 56-year-old ilm maker has de­nied the al­le­ga­tions. A state­ment is­sued by his lawyer Anand De­sai dubbed the al­le­ga­tions “false,” “mis­chievous,” “scan­dalous,” “mo­ti­vated” and “defam­a­tory.”

The woman made the charge in an email dated Nov.3, 2018 to Hirani’s Sanju co-pro­ducer Vidhu Vinod Cho­pra. She also marked the mail to Vidhu’s wife and ilm jour­nal­ist Anu­pama Cho­pra as well as to Hirani’s co-writer Ab­hi­jat Joshi, said the Huf­fpost In­dia ar­ti­cle.

IANS tried reach­ing out to Hirani, Anu­pama Cho­pra and Ab­hi­jat Joshi but got no re­sponse.

The woman claimed that Hirani irst made a sex­u­ally sug­ges­tive re­mark to her on April 9, 2018 and then sex­u­ally as­saulted her at his home-cum-ofice.

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.” The com­plainant said Hirani used to be her fa­ther igure.

When con­tacted by Huf­fpost In­dia, she said she was main­tain­ing a fa­cade of nor­malcy re­gard­ing Hirani’s be­hav­iour dur­ing work be­cause her fa­ther was ill and she needed to hold on to her job.

While Vidhu Vinod Cho­pra did not re­spond to the com­plainant’s al­le­ga­tions, his wife Anu­pama conirmed to Huf­fpost In­dia that the woman had shared an ac­count with her, that Vinod Cho­pra Films (VCF) has since set up a com­mit­tee to ad­dress com­plaints of sex­ual harass­ment.

Hirani has made pop­u­lar ilms like the Munna Bhai se­ries, 3 Id­iots and PK.

“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 ind an­other job in this in­dus­try if he were to speak badly about my work. Be­cause if Hirani said I wasn’t good, ev­ery­body would lis­ten. My fu­ture would be in jeop­ardy,” she said.

Ra­jku­mar Hirani

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