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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Sameksha backs Shilpa Shinde; says Binaifer Kohli manipulated contracts even for Zaara

Television actor Sameksha, who worked with Binaifer Kohli on her show Zaara a decade ago, says that the producer held back her dues and added clauses to her contract without her knowledge.

tv Updated: Apr 05, 2017 13:41 IST
Anjuri Nayar Singh
Anjuri Nayar Singh
Hindustan Times
Television actor Sameksha says that producer Binaifer Kohli delayed her payments for five months after her show Zaara ended.
Television actor Sameksha says that producer Binaifer Kohli delayed her payments for five months after her show Zaara ended.

Sameksha has stepped forth as the first and only fellow actor to support actor Shilpa Shinde’s claims of being mentally tortured by Bhabhi Ji Ghar Par Hai producers Binaifer Kohli and her husband Sanjay Kohli. Sameskha, who had worked with Binaifer on her show Zaara in 2007, says that she, too, faced problems on the sets and was financially deprived after leaving the show, her payments withheld for five months.

Problems have been simmering between Shilpa Shinde, who acted in Bhabhi Ji Ghar Par Hai, and the Kohlis for a while now. Last year, Shilpa objected to the exclusivity clause in her contract with the Kohlis — the clause prevented her from taking on other shows — and accused the makers of mentally torturing her. She quit the show, following which the producers sued her for Rs 12.5 crore for losses incurred. Shilpa claims that the production house still owes her Rs 32 lakh. She recently filed an FIR against Sanjay Kohli, accusing him of sexual harassment. In turn, the Kohlis have filed a defamation case against Shilpa.

‘Stupid clauses’

Like Shilpa, Sameksha also faced issues with her contract — the actor says that she was shown one version of the contract, but made to sign another one. “Binaifer would manipulate the contract,” says Sameksha. “I told her so many times to give me the contract, since I had to give it to my chartered accountant. After a few months, she said that the document had got spoilt as some water fell on it, so I should sign a new one. I tried to read this contract [before signing again], but Binaifer said that it was the same contract and that I should just sign it. After a few months, when I saw the document, there was an additional page of clauses that were in her favour.”

Sameksha adds, “She did the same thing to Shilpa, too. She doesn’t give anyone their contract. If I had seen my contract earlier, I’d have objected to these clauses and the shoot would’ve got disturbed. So she never gave me the contract. It had stupid clauses like if we finished shooting early, our half-day payment could be cut. Aise clauses pe koi sign karta hai?”

Actor Shilpa Shinde complained to the Cine and TV Artistes Association. But no action was taken. Sameksha had the same experience.
Actor Shilpa Shinde complained to the Cine and TV Artistes Association. But no action was taken. Sameksha had the same experience. ( HT Photo )

‘No unity among actors’

Sameksha alleges that her payment was delayed for five months and she still hasn’t got all her dues. Shilpa Shinde has complained to the Cine and TV Artistes Association (CINTAA), with no results. Sameksha says that her experience was the same.

“In CINTAA, the members to whom we take our case are also actors. So, when there’s a case against producers, [the association members] don’t want to spoil their relations with them. This is why no one is supporting Shilpa. There is unity among producers, but not actors,” says Sameksha.

‘Psychological problems’

Talking about the other problems that she faced on the set, Sameksha says that Binaifer often blamed her for things she never did. “The problems are those that you can’t talk about in the media. There were a lot of psychological problems on the sets; the atmosphere was very bad. Binaifer would play games on the sets. There were times when she’d give me the day off instead of someone who really wanted it, and then say that, ‘Sameksha wants to sit at home and relax.’

“Also, there was one time when my costume zipper was stuck and the director was waiting for the shot. The stylist told me to tear it and that she’d stitch it later. The next day, I read in the paper that ‘Sameksha is tearing clothes on the sets’. Binaifer would often say that I came late to the sets and didn’t come at all when I didn’t want to.”

‘Abusive director’

Talking about Zaara director Pawan Sahu, Sameksha says that he would hurl abuses on the sets and Binaifer did nothing to stop him. “He would say stuff like, ‘Pata nai kaise tumne director ko khush kara hoga, that you got this role.’ There were children on the sets and once he told his child actor Aditi Bhatia , ‘c*****a tujhe acting karni nai aati, thappad lagonga tabhi royegi.’ Humse aise baat karta tha aur bachhon se bhi. But when we’d tell Binaifer, she’d say ‘Yeh daily soap chala rahe hai hum. Yahaan pe aisa hi hota hai. Shyam Benegal ki film nai chal rahi hai.’”

Producer refutes allegations

When we contacted Binaifer Kohli, she refuted all these allegations, saying, “Sometimes, when the serial is closing down, the last payment is delayed. That serial was abut 10-11 years ago. She shot with us for two-and-a-half years. I don’t think she has done anything after that. She must be just looking out for publicity. There is nothing to say on this. After 11 years, she is just jumping on to the publicity wagon. The director she’s talking about is now doing Udhaan.”

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First Published: Apr 05, 2017 13:24 IST