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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Producer Karim Morani drugged and raped me, alleges woman

Me Too movement: A 25-year-old aspiring actor has alleged Chennai Express producer Karim Morani drugged, raped and blackmailed her.

bollywood Updated: Oct 12, 2018 12:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
The woman alleges if she told anyone, Karim Morani  warned her, he would come after her. (File IANS Photo)
The woman alleges if she told anyone, Karim Morani warned her, he would come after her. (File IANS Photo)

A Delhi-based aspiring actor has recounted the harrowing details of sexual harassment and abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of Bollywood producer Karim Morani in an interview to Republic TV. The 25-year-old woman had filed a case against Morani with Police; the producer is out on bail at present. The woman alleged that Morani, who has produced films, such as, Chennai Express, Ra.One and Happy New Year, drugged, raped and blackmailed her.

“Morani came home around 7pm with a bottle of wine. I didn’t drink but he forced me to drink. Next thing I know, I wake up at 4am. I was numb and shocked. Physically and mentally, I was in a state of shock. Karim was not there. I saw there were marks on my body when I woke up,” says the woman, who was 21 at the time. She knew the Morani family and had moved to Mumbai in 2014 to pursue an acting career in films.

Emboldened by Tanushree Dutta and a host of other prominent accusers, women everywhere have begun to speak out about the inappropriate, abusive and in some cases illegal behaviour they’ve faced. The woman accusing Morani, in her Me Too story, shared that once she called confronted him, the Chennai Express producer only laughed. The woman felt trapped and terrified when Morani began to stalk her, but felt she was powerless to stop him. If she told anyone, the producer warned her, he would come after her.

“Morani told me he clicked my pictures. He said if you try and call anyone, I’ll get you killed by the underworld. Morani was linked to the underworld. He called me again in October 2015. He wanted me to go to Ramoji City. He would blackmail me saying he’d get me eliminated by the underworld. I don’t doubt that he’s influential. I’ve seen it that he’s influential and I know he could have eliminated me,” said the woman, alleging Morani continued to sexually abuse her, using her pictures as a ploy.

The woman weathered excruciating threats and filed a complaint in Hyderabad’s Rachakonda in January 2017. The police had registered a case against Morani for rape, wrongful confinement, criminal intimidation, cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage, and cheating. Morani is out on bail.

The woman accusing Morani has now shared not only the vulgarity of the harassment itself — years of lewd comments, forced kisses, opportunistic gropes — but also the emotional and psychological fallout from those advances.

“He’s 60+ and im younger than his youngest daughter. He spoilt my life, my dream. He crushed me. I continue to face threats. Till date when he comes to court, he stares me down and intimidates me. Why should i travel in a burqa? He’s influential, he’s been working in industry for 40 years. I really don’t know who knows about him but choose to judge the girl. Why should i feel embarrassed or go through torture,” she said.

Implying Bollywood only cares about supporting #MeToo victims on a surface level, the woman also called out actor Shah Rukh Khan, a close friend of Morani’s.

“I don’t know how SRK could work with him. I don’t want to drag SRK into this but how can such an icon work with this 2G accused and support a man like this. Nobody spoke out about me or backed me up. How can top actors like SRK work with him?” she said.

Follow @htshowbiz for more

First Published: Oct 12, 2018 12:07 IST

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