Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta has accused National-Award Winning Actor Nana Patekar of sexual harassment.
In a recent media interview, Tanushree alleged that Nana Patekar, a Padma Shri and National Award-winning actor, had behaved inappropriately towards her during the shooting of a song for the 2008 film 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 told Zoom.
She added, “I complained to the producers, ‘Please tell him to be away from me.’ (It was like) she’s new and young, so do an intimate scene with her.
It’s a side way of fulfilling your lust. If you want to molest an actress, just go and tell the producers to please insert an intimate scene with her.
Tanushree recounts how she was forced to do an ‘intimate’ dance sequence which was otherwise contracted to be a ‘solo’ dance step.
“He kept coming close to me, holding my body and pushing me around, ‘Stand here or ‘Stand there’, though actually he wasn’t needed to be on the set.
Then he told the choreographers, ‘You guys move, I will teach her dance.’ Such an incident hadn’t happened to me before.”
She claimed that this was a way to manipulate her. In the interview, she also added:
“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 (the producer) and Rakesh Sarangi (the director). All of them are good friends.”
She reveals that unlike other actresses, who’ve struggled through auditions before entering the industry, for her acting, happened by chance.
After winning Miss India Universe, offers came her way immediately after that.
Tanushree said the reason for his behaviour for the mentality that, “She does glamorous roles, glamorous photo shoots so she will be this type of girl only.”
Tanushree & family were also attacked
According to Hindustan Times, Dutta also claims that she and her family were also attacked.
Tanushree reveals that her father had a word with the producers to resolve this matter and stressed that the actress won’t be performing an intimate step with him because his intentions weren’t right.
And the attack happened when they returned to the car after the discussion.
“The police somehow came to know and rescued us. When someone informed the producers, they closed down the studio. But they had to open it later when police fired shots.
We were in the car, my elderly parents were there, and they had all plans to trample us, I was petrified.
Though police arrived 30 minutes late, if they were later by five minutes, we would’ve been badly injured.”
Ganesh Acharya defends Nana Patekar
In defence of Patekar, the film’s choreographer, Ganesh Acharya claimed: “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.”
Ganesh 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 at 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 told News18.
Responding this, Tanushree 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.
Nana Patekar breaks his silence
When Nana was contacted by Mirror Now, the veteran 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.”
When enquired whether he will take any legal action, the 67-Year-Old 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.”
Why has Bollywood turned their backs?
According to Tanushree, Nana’s behaviour was well-known in the industry, yet it was surprising that no one uttered a word.
She also wonders how big stars like Akshay Kumar and Rajinikanth continue to work with him.
In the interview, she mentioned:
“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 also reminisced about how a friend overheard an actor talking to a casting director about choosing the female lead in a film.
But instead of asking what was her last film or does she know how to act, he asked, “Deti hai kya” (do you give it?)
She further said about the director saying ‘Agar deti nahi hai to isko milegi nahi’ (if you don’t give it, you won’t get it). I.e. asking for sexual favours in return of roles.
She said, “The attitude in Bollywood and all the film industries that are working in the country is this – dete nahi ho toh film nahi milegi.”
It is expected that the matter will be investigated into. Further updates to follow.