Hirani accused of sexual misconduct by assistant
■ Filmmaker denied all allegations, terming the story malicious and mischievous
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