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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

Chunky Pandey defends Sajid Khan, calls him ‘brother’, says ‘it was the season of MeToo’

Filmmaker Sajid Khan’s Housefull actor Chunky Pandey has defended him against accusations of sexual harassment.

bollywood Updated: Sep 12, 2019 19:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Filmmaker Sajid Khan seen at Bandra in Mumbai.
Filmmaker Sajid Khan seen at Bandra in Mumbai.(IANS)

Actor Chunky Pandey has defended filmmaker Sajid Khan, who has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women. Calling Sajid ‘a brother’, Chunky said that the Housefull filmmaker is often ‘misunderstood’ for being ‘outspoken’.

He told Pinkvilla, “The thing is Sajid has always been a very, very outspoken person. He has always been this flamboyant person, what you see is what you get. A lot of people might misunderstand Sajid Khan.”

Sajid during the #MeToo movement in India last year had been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, with allegations ranging from lewd comments to exposing himself in front of a journalist. Following the allegations, Sajid was suspended by the The Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association, and he stepped down as director of Housefull 4, which was in production at the time. He was replaced by writer Farhad Samji.

Chunky, speaking about the incident, continued, “Sajid just says things for effect, he doesn’t mean them. I know Sajid since childhood. Of course, when these allegations came, it was a shocker to everyone, you know it was the season of MeToo, and everyone was getting exposed. So, we really felt bad. We had no option, the producer had a lot of pressure to drop him from the film (Housefull 4). Luckily, Farhad Samji agreed to do it. It wasn’t easy but full marks to Sajid Nadiadwala for pulling this off. Of course, we felt bad when we lost Sajid.”

Also read: Aamir Khan confirms he’s playing Gulshan Kumar in Mogul, reveals what made him come back to the film

After the allegations against the filmmaker were made, Housefull actor Akshay Kumar tweeted that he would not work with ‘any proven offenders and all those who have been subjugated to harassment should be heard and given the justice they deserve’.

Meanwhile, Sajid’s cousin, filmmaker Farhan Akhar had said, “So pretty much on the first day when three women came out and spoke, I felt it was important for me to speak out. Sajid, being my brother, I need to now work with him, try to figure out how he can see this thing through and how it is that he can make the women who have been affected by his actions, somehow feel better.”

Also read: Anu Malik to return as Indian Idol judge, shoots promo with Vishal Dadlani, Neha Kakkar: report

Sajid is frequently seen at industry events. Recently, he was photographed out for dinner with his sister, Farah Khan, and tennis player Sania Mirza.

Several industry personalities who were named during the #MeToo movement have recently made comebacks. While music composer Anu Malik has reportedly been brought back for the new season of Indian Idol, after having been removed, actor Aamir Khan announced this week that he is reversing his decision to not work with sexual harassment accused director Subhash Kapoor.

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First Published: Sep 12, 2019 19:21 IST