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I was told to get a boob job, says Deepika Padukone on facing sexual harassment in Bollywood

Deepika Padukone in a new interview has opened up about Me Too and Time’s Up in India and her own experience when she entered the industry.

bollywood Updated: Jun 28, 2018 17:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Deepika Padukone,Deepika Padukone Movies,Deepika Padukone Films
Deepika Padukone poses as she arrives for a screening at the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes.(AFP)

Crores of rupees in the bank and popularity that doesn’t allow you to visit the supermarket isn’t enought to make one immune from certain realities of life. Deepika Padukone has been vocal about her battle with depression, that came at the peak of her success, but she’s never really spoken about facing sexual harassment. Until now.

In a new interview to the Evening Standard, the actor was asked about the climate in Bollywood in the wake of the Me Too and Time’s Up campaigns that changed the industry abroad. “There’s so much more awareness,” she said. “There are so many people who speak up and I think in the same way that we see the wheels moving in the right direction globally, I see the same thing happening in India as well.”

She said that she, too, was put under pressure early in her career. “There were lots of things I was advised (to do),” she said. “To get a boob job, do the beauty pageants. They felt it was the right way to be recognised or picked up by a Bollywood director or producer. It might be an easier way to achieve what you want to achieve. But I haven’t been that person; I’ve always followed my gut.”

Deepika Padukone poses as she arrives on May 10, 2018 for the screening of the film Sorry Angel (Plaire, Aimer et Courir Vite) at the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. (AFP)

Following the New York Times and New Yorker investigations into film producer Harvey Weinstein, almost a hundred women came forward with their own stories of having faced harassment from him. The reports led to huge public outcry, which revealed scores of other prominent names in the film industry as habitual abusers of power.

The movement has been largely ignored in India, where several reasons such as fear, apathy have been given. Several actors such as Kalki Koechlin and Richa Chadha have said that sexual harassment exists in Bollywood, but no one has revealed any names so far.

Deepika is coming off a Rs 300 crore success in the controversial Padmaavat, not to mention the $300 million success of her debut Hollywood film, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. Deepika is expected to reprise her role in a sequel to xXx although she hasn’t announced any new Bollywood films yet.

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First Published: Jun 28, 2018 17:53 IST