Hirani ac­cused of sex­ual mis­con­duct by as­sis­tant

■ Film­maker de­nied all al­le­ga­tions, terming the story ma­li­cious and mis­chievous

Deccan Chronicle - - Nation -

Mum­bai, Jan. 13: Ra­jku­mar Hirani has been ac­cused of sex­ual as­sault by a woman who worked with him on his 2018 film “Sanju” and the film­maker has de­nied the al­le­ga­tions, terming them “false” and “ma­li­cious” and aimed at de­stroy­ing his rep­u­ta­tion.

In an ar­ti­cle on Huf­fPost In­dia, the woman, who calls her­self “an as­sis­tant”, al­leged that Hirani sex­u­ally abused her more than once be­tween March and Septem­ber 2018.

She de­tailed her al­le­ga­tions in an email dated Novem­ber 3, 2018, to Hirani’s fre­quent col­lab­o­ra­tor and “Sanju” co-pro­ducer Vidhu Vinod Cho­pra.

After the ar­ti­cle went vi­ral on the In­ter­net, the film­maker re­leased a state­ment in which he said he was “shocked” when the claims were brought to his no­tice two months ago. He said he sug­gested the case be re­ferred to a “com­mit­tee or a le­gal body” but the com­plainant chose to go the me­dia in­stead.

“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,” Hirani said in a state­ment.

The woman said that on April 9, 2018, the di­rec­tor first passed a sex­u­ally sug­ges­tive re­mark to her and later sex­u­ally 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’,” she wrote of the April 9 in­ci­dent in the email to Cho­pra, as quoted by Huf­fPost In­dia.

The woman said Hirani was a fa­ther fig­ure for her. “My mind, body and heart were grossly vi­o­lated that night and for the next 6 months,” the email read.

The com­plainant later spoke to Huf­fPost In­dia that she was “in­tim­i­dated by Hirani”, who was her re­port­ing per­son at the time. She said she main­tained a fa­cade of nor­malcy re­gard­ing Hirani’s be­hav­iour as she needed to hold on to her job as her fa­ther was suf­fer­ing from a ter­mi­nal ill­ness.

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 — RA­JKU­MAR HIRANI, Film­maker

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.