B-Town women face abuse, discrimination - Hindustan Times

B-Town women face abuse, discrimination

Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi
Jul 10, 2012 01:12 AM IST

Reports of Salman Khan hitting Katrina Kaif bring to light how women in Bollywood have always faced harassment and discrimination. From physical abuse to the casting couch to the glass ceiling in Bollywood, here's uncovering it all.

Reports of Salman Khan hitting Katrina Kaif bring to light how women in Bollywood have always faced harassment and discrimination.

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Salman Khan: Somy Ali, Aishwarya Rai, Katrina Kaif

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When Salman was dating actor Somy Ali in the 90s, it was reported that he smashed a bottle of cola on her head at a party, in a fit of rage.

Aishwarya admitted in an interview that Salman had hit her during their relationship. In 2001, Ash’s family had filed a complaint about Salman coming to their house drunk and breaking furniture and window panes. In 2003 the actor issued a statement against Sallu in which she wrote, “I stood by him enduring alcoholism and misbehavior in its worst phases and in turn, I was at the receiving end of his abuse (verbal, physical, emotional), infidelity and indignity.”

Salman allegedly slapped Katrina Kaif on the sets of their film Yuvraaj in 2008, after he saw a picture of her in a newspaper with Akshay Kumar at an IPL match. He also reportedly slapped her earlier at a coffee shop.

Rahul Mahajan: Dimpy Ganguly

Rahul Mahajan, the reality TV actor, already had a history of abuse, with reports that he used to beat his former wife Shweta. Dimpy, who married Mahajan on reality show Rahul Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge later alleged that Mahajan had beaten her and threatened her with a gun. Dimpy claimed that Mahajan punched and kicked her after wanting to know the contents of an SMS on her phone. However, she later went back to him.

Zeenat Aman: Sanjay Khan, Mazhar Khan

Sanjay Khan and Zeenat Aman met on the sets of a film in 1980 and started dating. It has been reported that Khan assaulted Zeenat in full public view in the lobby of a Mumbai Hotel.

According to reports, Khan beat her so badly that the actor had a doctor and nurse attending to her for eight days and she had to take anti-depressants three times a day. Reason: Khan wanted to re-shoot a song from their film Abdullha, but she refused due to other commitments.

Zeenat married actor Mazhar Khan in 1985. It was reported that Mazhar beat her and the couple later filed for divorce.

Bollywood and the casting couch

Madhur Bhandarkar/Preeti Jain

In July 2004, actor Preeti Jain lodged a complaint against filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar alleging that he had raped her 16 times between 1999 and 2004, under the pretext of casting her as actor in his films. Madhur insists the complaint was of “cheating” and did not mention rape.

Dibaker Banerjee/Payal Rohatgi

In March 2011, actor Payal Rohatgi accused filmmaker Dibakar Banerjee of trying to take advantage of her physically. Payal said, “Dibakar commented that I had gained weight. He asked me to show him my stomach. I didn’t like it.” Dibakar said she made the comments to malign his image.

Irrfan Khan/Mamata Patel

Irrfan Khan was accused of deceitful intimacy by actor Mamata Patel who worked with him in Paan Singh Tomar. Mamata said that Irrfan exploited her during the outdoor shoot of the film and threatened her to stay mum about their relation and also promised her meaty roles in future projects.

Subhash Ghai/Rina Golan

New York-raised Rina Golan in her book Dear Mister Bollywood: How I Fell In Love with India, Bollywood and Shah Rukh Khan, named industry veterans Subhash Ghai, Anup Jalota and Anees Bazmee in her biography, claiming that they all asked her for sexual favours when she met them for work.

Ismail Darbar/Poonam Yadav

Music director Ismail Darbar was accused of being responsible for Sa Re Ga Ma contestant Poonam Yadav’s supposed pregnancy, abortion and a suicide attempt that followed. Poonam slammed the accusations saying, “Ismail sir has been my pillar of strength. Don’t drag his name into this.”

Rajkumar Santoshi/Mamta Kulkarni

Actor Mamta Kulkarni had accused filmmaker Rajkumar Santoshi of asking her for sexual favours on the sets of China Gate and said that when she refused, he cut her role. Santoshi denied all rumours and post this incident Mamta lost out many roles in Bollywood, and her career was cut short.


The year was titled as the year of women power, even though there were only a handful of releases with female actors playing the role of the central protagonist including No One Killed Jessica, Turning 30, The Dirty Picture, 7 Khoon Maaf, Shabri and That Girl In Yellow Boots. The majority of releases were all about heroes and their heroism.

While in 2012...

There has been one woman-oriented film yet: Kahaani. The next will be Bebo’s Heroine. In terms of debutant directors, Puja Jatinder Bedi, Anu Menon and Gitanjali Saha gave duds such as Ghost; London, Paris, New York and Yeh Khula Aasmaan. Bela Sehgal and Gauri Shinde will come out with Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi and English Vinglish.

Pay disparity, top 5 actors

Bollywood has always been titled as a male dominated industry, not just in terms of the majority of male-centric films but due to the huge gap in pay packages. Male actors earn three to four times more than their female counterparts.

Aamir Khan: 30cr

Shah Rukh Khan: 25cr

Salman Khan: 25-30cr

Akshay Kumar: 20-25cr

Ajay Devgn: 15-18cr

Hrithik Roshan: 15-20cr

Kareena Kapoor: 5-8cr

Priyanka Chopra: 4-6cr

Katrina Kaif: 4-6cr

Vidya Balan: 3-5cr

Deepika Padukone: 2-4cr

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