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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

Nana Patekar ends silence on Tanushree Dutta’s sexual harassment claim, laughs it off

Actor Nana Patekar, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by Tanushree Dutta, laughed off the allegations in an interview.

bollywood Updated: Sep 27, 2018 18:42 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Tanushree Dutta has alleged that Nana Patekar has a history of abusive behaviour.
Tanushree Dutta has alleged that Nana Patekar has a history of abusive behaviour.
         

Nana Patekar has broken his silence about the recent accusations of sexual harassment levelled against him by actor Tanushree Dutta. Contacted by Mirror Now, the actor laughed when questioned about the allegations and asked, “What does she mean by sexual harassment? We were on the set and there were 200 people sitting in front of us.”

Asked if he will take any legal action, the veteran actor said, "I will see what can be done legally. Let's see. It is also wrong/inappropriate to talk to you (media) since you publish anything." On Tanushree’s allegation that there's a different face to the National Award-winning actor, Nana said: "Let anyone say anything. I will continue to do in my life what I have been doing."

Tanushree had alleged in a recent interview that Nana Patekar, a Padma Shri and National Award-winning actor, had behaved inappropriately towards her during the shooting of a song for 2008’s Horn OK Pleassss. “Everyone knows about Nana Patekar that he has always been disrespectful towards women. People in the industry know about his background... that he has beaten actresses, he has molested them, his behaviour with women has always been crude but no publication has printed anything about it,” she had told Zoom.

Patekar, who had remained unavailable for comment since the news broke, told Mirror Now, “What can I do about it? You tell me,” and contemplated taking legal action.

 

"He misbehaved on the sets. He was being aggressive and was pushing me around. I complained about him, but it was not heard. They (film crew) were forcing me to do an intimate step. My contract stated that it was a solo dance sequence, and it was not supposed to be a duet. It was a way to manipulate me. This was the whole harassment situation going on," she said in an interview.

The actor that her family was also attacked when she refused to do the dance step. "It was horrific. They made sure that we didn't escape the studio as they locked the gates. Ganesh Acharya was the one who pressurised me to perform an intimate step. Everybody was involved including Amit Siddiqui and Rakesh Sarangi. All of them are good friends," Tanushree claimed.

Tanushree had wondered why established stars such as Akshay Kumar and Rajinikanth continue to work with Patekar despite his well-known history of inappropriate behaviour towards women. “The entire industry saw what happened but there was not one word of condemnation from anybody. Every single person in this country remembers my incident and this was something on national TV for three days but even today there’s a stoic silence on that. So, my question is, ‘Who is going to believe these hypocrites?’ These are the people who stand up and raise their voice against women empowerment,” she had said.

The film’s choreographer, Ganesh Acharya, had spoken up in defence of Patekar. “He’s a very sweet person, he can never do that. He is very helpful and he has actually helped a lot of artistes in the industry, he can never do anything like that.” He also added that he doesn’t remember what happened that day as the incident is from 10 years ago. “When I was called for rehearsal I was told that Nana ji was also there in the song. I don’t have the agreement with me because that time we used to do it verbally. But that particular song didn’t involve any kind of indecent step in the first place. It was pure dancing. That’s all,” he News18.

Tanushree in response called Ganesh ‘a bloody liar’ for being complicit in her abuse. “He’s not the end goal of this discussion. He’s the reason why this discussion started. I want the industry to ban these people from working just to set an example for others. You can’t get away with this behaviour. My fight is not with Nana Patekar or Ganesh Acharya. I don’t want them to work. I want them to suffer the consequences of their actions,” Tanushree told ANI.

Meanwhile, stars Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan have weighed in on the controversy after they were asked about it at the trailer launch event for their new film, Thugs of Hindostan.

“Neither my name is Tanushree nor Nana Patekar. So, how can I answer your question?” said Amitabh, while Aamir said, “Without knowing the veracity of something, it’s not right for me to comment on it. But whenever something like this does happen, it’s a sad thing. Whether this has happened, that is for people to investigate it.”

The #MeToo movement began with allegations of sexual harassment and rape against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and triggered a global movement. It eventually led to structural changes in Hollywood and the launch of the Time’s Up campaign. Indian actors such as Radhika Apte, Richa Chadda, Swara Bhasker and Konkona SenSharma have spoken about it, without revealing names.

Follow @htshowbiz for more

First Published: Sep 27, 2018 16:54 IST

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