RA­JKU­MAR HI­RANI AC­CUSED OF SEX­UAL AS­SAULT

Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - City - - FRONT PAGE - — HTC

In the lat­est in­stance of Bol­ly­wood big­gies be­ing ac­cused of sex­ual mis­con­duct, film-maker Ra­jku­mar Hi­rani has been ac­cused of sex­ual as­sault by a woman who was work­ing with him on Sanju (2018). Ac­cord­ing to Huf­fPost In­dia, the woman has said that Hi­rani sex­u­ally abused her on more than one oc­ca­sion over a six-month pe­riod be­tween March and Septem­ber 2018.

In an email ad­dressed to pro­ducer Vidhu Vinod Cho­pra, the woman said that on April 9, 2018, Hi­rani first made a sex­u­ally sug­ges­tive re­mark to her and then 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’. My mind, body and heart were grossly vi­o­lated that night and for the next 6 months,” she wrote. In her in­ter­view with Huf­fPost In­dia, the com­plainant said that she took great pains to con­ceal Hi­rani’s ac­tions to­wards her as her fa­ther was suf­fer­ing from a ter­mi­nal ill­ness. “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. I was wor­ried that if I left mid­way, it would be im­pos­si­ble to find an­other job in this in­dus­try if he were to speak badly about my work,” she said.

Hi­rani, re­spond­ing through his lawyer Anand De­sai, has de­nied the al­le­ga­tions. “At the out­set, our client states that the al­le­ga­tions made against him are false, mis­chievous, scan­dalous, mo­ti­vated and defam­a­tory,” De­sai said in an email dated De­cem­ber 5, 2018 to Huf­fPost In­dia.

HT couldn’t in­de­pen­dently ver­ify the al­le­ga­tions and the re­sponses.

PHOTO: RAAJESSH KASHYAP/HT

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