Anurag Kashyap’s former assistant says director got upset when actress suggested sexual favours in exchange for work
As Anurag Kashyap fights allegations of sexual harassment, levelled by actor Payal Ghosh, many of his industry friends and colleagues have rallied in support. Anurag’s former assistant Jaydeep Sarkar has also defended the filmmaker on social media.
Jaydeep shared a string of tweets on Monday, recalling an incident from years ago when he was working with Anurag and a female actor suggested sexual favours in exchange for work. He said that Anurag outrightly refused it and felt disappointed at what some women have to do to get work in the film industry.
“This is the right time to recount this story. I was an assistant with @anuragkashyap72 in 2004. I was looking into secondary casting for ‘Gulaal’ and was meeting many actors. A young actress, who really wanted a part in the film insisted she wanted to meet Anurag,” he wrote. “She waited a while and then Anurag got done with a narration and agreed to meet her. The young actress probably assumed the only way to get the role was through the ‘casting couch’. She tried suggesting a few ‘favours’ verbally,” he added.
Jaydeep said that when Anurag refused her, she tried other ways. “But when Anurag politely ignored it, she gently let her sari pallu drop. A few times. At this point, Anurag got up and requested her to not do this. He told her she would get the part if she was the right fit and nothing else would work. Saying this, he walked out of the room, disappointed. I was shocked by what I saw, but I had seen a hero get out of a situation, with respect and empathy for her. Later he told me he was disappointed that so many young women feel this is the only way they can make it,” he said.
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Jaydeep said that Anurag always respected women. “I don’t blame the woman! Many like her come into the industry, believing this is how you get cast in a movie. And that may even be true, much like in any other field of work. But having worked with Anurag, especially in casting, the one thing I always observed was his absolute respect for women,” he said.
Payal, who was seen in Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi, accused Anurag of sexual harassment on Saturday. Speaking to ANI, she said, “Five years ago I met Anurag Kashyap regarding work. He called me to his house. When I went there, he took me to a separate room and tried to sexually assault me. He forced himself on me.”
Post the allegations, Kashyap responded on Twitter in which he denied the allegations, claiming that they were ‘baseless’. “I neither behave like this nor do I ever tolerate this at any price,” he said. His lawyer has also responded to the claims.
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