Infamous stories of Bollywood’s casting couch aren’t new. And the latest allegation of sexual assault has been made by actor Geetika Tyagi against director Subhash Kapoor.
On Tuesday, Tyagi, who was recently seen in the film, One by Two, tweeted a link to a video, in which she has accused Kapoor, the director of Jolly LLB, of forcing himself on her about a year-and-a-half ago.
Meanwhile, in the video, Kapoor’s wife, Dimple Kharbanda, is seen pleading with Tyagi and her boyfriend, director Atul Sabharwal, to keep the matter private. "Sab kuch khatam ho gaya hai.. ek hi cheez bachhi hai, uss bachhe (their son) ka future," Kharbanda says in tears.
Kapoor, too, says that he is ashamed of what happened, and is ready to face the consequences. "I don’t know what to do," he says, while Tyagi is heard crying hysterically, before she appears in the frame of the video, to slap Kapoor.
Alongside the video, Tyagi has written, "My intentions of uploading this video is to caution those girls who will come in contact with this man, Subhash Kapoor, socially or professionally and will make the mistake of looking up to him as father-figure or as an elder brother and trust him and... for all girls who, if god forbid become victims of sexual assault, not to give in to pleading of their attacker’s wife, sister, mother, daughter or any woman who asks for your forgiveness for attacker... (sic)"
While Kapoor did not respond to our calls and text messages, the online world has been abuzz with the issue.
"Unbelievable. Power and big kudos to you! This would not have been easy," commented an internet user Deepti Unni Krishnan on the video.
"It took a lot of courage but finally I did it. Thank you Atul!" Tyagi posted on Twitter, even though she did not respond to our repeated calls.
Sabharwal also tweeted, "May this end the mental suffering that you’ve been going through ever since."
Filmmaker Anand L Rai says that it’s very disturbing to hear about such instances. "Looks like the casting couch still exists. I don’t know what the solution is, but it’s the duty of a filmmaker to keep his image clean and focus on the creatives instead."
|Not the first time|
Starlet Preeti Jain hit headlines in 2004 when she accused filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar of raping her for many years after making false promises of giving her a film role.
In 2011, actor Payal Rohatgi claimed that director Dibakar Banerjee reportedly asked her to take her top off, and when she refused, he chopped off her role from his film Shanghai.
Earlier, in 2005, actors Shakti Kapoor and Aman Verma were caught on tape making advances towards a starlet, as part of a sting operation.
Actor Rani Mukherji’s brother Raja, too, was arrested for allegedly molesting TV actor Priya Mishra.