Alok Nath, Sajid Khan, Subhash Ghai: The Bollywood bigwigs outed so far in 'Me Too'

Celebrities have been implicated in multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment and and even rape.
Alok Nath, Sajid Khan, Subhash Ghai: The Bollywood bigwigs outed so far in 'Me Too'
Alok Nath, Sajid Khan, Subhash Ghai: The Bollywood bigwigs outed so far in 'Me Too'
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The MeToo movement in India started with women in journalism outing alleged predators and harassers. Now, the Bollywood industry has been hit with allegations after multiple celebrities were named in the past week, including filmmaker Sajid Khan, actor Alok Nath, singer Kailash Kher, and more.

Here’s a list of all the men from Bollywood who have been accused of sexually inappropriate and/or predatory behaviour.

1. Alok Nath

Veteran actor Alok Nath is known for his sanskaari onscreen image in Indian cinema. Apparently, it’s not something the actor known for his babuji roles lives by in real life.

He has been accused of sexual assault as well as harassment by two women. The first was producer-writer Vinta Nanda, who accused Alok of raping her 19 years ago. He allegedly repeated the act once again when the duo had to work together on a show later.

After Vinta came out with her story, actor Sandhya Mridul also accused Alok of sexual harassment which took a toll on her health and career.  

A third allegation emerged against Alok Nath on Thursday. Actor Deepika Amin shared Vinta Nanda's post, and said that Alok had tried to barge in drunk into her room some years ago in a telefilm shoot.

Alok’s response to the whole thing has been dismissive, at best. He responded to Vinta’s allegations saying, “[The rape] must have happened, but someone else would have done it. Well, I do not want to talk much about it. As for the matter, if it has come out, it will be stretched.”

Alok’s wife, Ashu, has now moved court and filed a complaint against Vinta for defamation.

2. Rajat Kapoor

Actor-director Rajat Kapoor has been accused by at least three women, including one journalist, of sexual misconduct, harassment and assault.

Three anonymous accounts were posted by journalist Sandhya Menon on Twitter. The first one by a journalist recounted how he allegedly asked her questions like, “Are you as sexy as you sound?” during an interview. He allegedly tried to convince another woman to shoot a film in an empty home. In the third instance, a woman has accused Rajat of attempting to sext with her (she was 19 at the time), and then trying to kiss her eight times while dropping her back home.

Rajat Kapoor issued an apology on Twitter. He said he had tried to be a “decent man” throughout his life, and that “if” his actions had caused someone hurt or trauma, to accept his apology. “I am sorry from the bottom of my heart – and sad that I was the cause of this hurt,” he said.

Following the allegations, his film Kadakh was dropped from the line up of the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image’s (MAMI) upcoming film festival.

3. Kailash Kher

Singer Kailash Kher has been accused of sexual harassment and misconduct by multiple women, including singer Sona Mohapatra.

Sona said he touched her inappropriately when he met her, and then called her incessantly and at odd hours, and even told her to skip a soundcheck  at a show and come to his room to “catch up.”

Another survivor, Simran Soni, also alleged that Kailash told her things like, “Tum meri pagli ho. Drown in my love. Tum meri jogi ho. Mirror me dekho mai dikhunga tumhe. Touching every part of your soul,” over text.

A woman also accused Kailash of sexual misconduct and claimed that his wife knew about it and apologized to her for it later.

And yet another by a journalist in Muscat.

Yet another allegation emerged against him on Friday. 

Kailash Kher, while speaking to news outlet, said that “respects all humanity, especially women” but that he does not recall the incidents that survivors have mentioned. “I am almost all the time in my own simple world,  but in case anyone has taken something differently about anything, then it is my sincerest apologies,” he said.

4. Anu Malik

Sona Mohapatra also named singer-composer Anu Malik of being a sexual harasser.

She said she met him in 2006. When she, her husband Ram Sampath and Anu went for a meal, Anu allegedly commented on Sona saying, “Kya maal hai Sampath!” Thereafter Anu allegedly called Sona at odd hours, which Sona eventually stopped answering altogether.

Anu Malik meanwhile, told DNA that he didn’t even know Sona and had never met her. “She’s meaning some case that had happened long time back. It has nothing to do with me. I don’t know her. I have never worked with her also. She’s just dragging my name into this. I have not even met her,” he said.

Sona refuted the claim.

5. Abhijeet Bhattacharya

The singer has been accused by a former flight attendant of sexually harassing her. In a Facebook post which is no longer available, a former flight attendant accused Abhijeet of misbehaving with her in 1998. Abhijeet allegedly grabbed the survivor by the wrist and pulled her to him when she refused to dance with him.

When she kept refusing, Abhijeet allegedly yelled at her saying, “Bitch, what do you think of yourself, wait till I teach you a lesson.” He went on to almost kiss her and nibble her ear, she said. The hotel in Kolkata where this happened knew the woman and hence supported her, while Abhijeet was banned there for a month. She stated that the story was covered in newspapers.  

Abhijeet Bhattacharya had a callous response to the accusations. Firstly, he completely denied them, saying he wasn’t born at the time (He was born in 1958). He added that he had never gone to pubs in his life. He then went on to call people who were coming out with their #MeToo stories as ugly and dirty. “Most of the people who are coming out right now are dirty, ugly people. Koi mota hai koi patla hai. No one deserves (the attention). Just to grab some attention they are coming out. Most of the fat and ugly girls are blaming and I wasn’t born at that time,” he told Indian Express.

6. Vikas Bahl

Another shocking name to emerge in the movement is that of filmmaker Vikas Bahl of the Kangana Ranaut-starrer Queen fame. While one woman detailed an account of sexual assault at the hands of Bahl, Sonali Chopra, who outed Sajid Khan in a details blog, also wrote about facing sexism from Vikas.

Ankur Pathak’s report in Huffpost India detailed a series of extremely traumatic events that an employee of Phantom Films, a production house started by Vikas Bahl, Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Santena, went through after she was allegedly sexually assaulted by Vikas when she was drunk.

The stress and anguish caused the woman to spiral mentally and emotionally and compelled her to work in a toxic environment. Phantom films failed to address her concerns even though she just wanted an apology from Vikas. She left the organisation in 2017, two years after the alleged incident.

The woman's testimony of the account has been corroborated by several people whom she recounted her story to, and Anurag Kashyap also confirmed that the survivor had told him about it. After the Huffington Post article was published, Anurag announced that Phantom Films had disbanded and the founders were headed their separate ways. He also stepped down as a from the position of a board member from MAMI.

Actor Hrithik Roshan, who is starring in Vikas Bahl's Super 30, also issued a statement asking the film's producers to take stock of the situation and take a "harsh stand" if needed.

7. Sajid Khan

In a heart-wrenching post, model-actor Saloni Chopra on Thursday recounted months of alleged sexual harassment and abuse she suffered at the hands of filmmaker Sajid Khan.

Sajid Khan, under whom Saloni worked as an assistant for a few months, allegedly called her incessantly and at odd times, asked her inappropriate questions, like what she was wearing, and tried to make her touch his penis on the pretext of telling her that she was not sexy enough to be an actor as she did not arouse him. Saloni said she was subjected to emotional and mental torture as Sajid would constantly demean and belittle her.

Apart from Saloni, two other women – a journalist and another actor – have made allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against Sajid. Journalist Karishma Upadhyay said that during an interview in the early 2000s, Sajid flashed her and forcefully kissed her. Actor Rachel White has said that when she went to meet him for a role in the film Humshakals, he asked her about her breasts, and asked her to strip. Sajid allegedly told her that the role would be hers if she could seduce him in the next five minutes.

While Sajid Khan has not commented on the allegations, his sister director-producer-choreographer Farah Khan tweeted that if her brother was indeed guilty of such behaviour, he had a lot to atone for. She also expressed solidarity with the survivors.

In another development, actor Akshay Kumar also issued a statement asking producers of Housefull 4 to cancel the shoot till allegations against Sajid, the film’s director, and Nana Patekar, who was acting in the film, are probed. (Nana Patekar has since bowed out of the film). “I will not work with any proven offenders and all those who have been subjugated to harassment should be heard and given the justice they deserve,” Akshay tweeted.

8. Nana Patekar

Bollywood actor Tanushree Dutta was one of the first people to come out with her story in the current wave of the #MeToo movement, even preceding it, when she recounted how she was allegedly subjected to sexual harassment by actor Nana Patekar a decade ago.

Tanushree, in an interview with Zoom TV, alleged that Nana Patekar inappropriately touched her during the shoot of a song she was supposed to perform in the film Horn Ok Pleassss in 2008. Nana allegedly got the choreography changed just so a lewd step could be added where he could touch Tanushree. When Tanushree refused to cooperate and attempted to leave with her parents from the set, she said that Nana allegedly called political goons who smashed the windshield of her car and did not let her leave the set until the police arrived.

Nana Patekar brushed off the allegations and has been supported by the director, producer of the film and the choreographer of the song. He has also served a legal notice to Tanushree Dutta demanding a public apology.

The actor has now bowed out of the film Housefull 4 after director Sajid Khan did the same. Nana Patekar reportedly said that he felt it was the appropriate thing to do.

9. Zain Durrani

In the same blog where Saloni Chopra outed Sajid Kahn and Vikas Bahl, she also alleged that actor Zain Durrani is abusive in his personal relationships.

Saloni and Zain apparently met while she was shooting for the film Kick and dated for a year. Saloni said, “The man that everybody thought was the world’s most amazing boyfriend, was a completely different person when we were alone. I don’t even remember the first time he ever hit me.”

“At every fight, he would raise his hands. He would grab me and push me onto walls, he would suddenly get really angry and choke me. After every single incident of abuse, he would howl and stop breathing and ‘faint’ — by the time he woke up, he didn’t know what had happened. He’d ask if he’d done something, and would call himself a monster and a horrible person,” she added.

Saloni started to blame herself and isolated herself from her friends. She also accused him of slut shaming her and having double standards about what he could do and she couldn’t in the relationship. Saloni narrated that on two occasions, two of his friends finally witnessed the abuse Zain was subjecting her to. The couple broke up some time after one such violent fight where Saloni also retaliated. She alleged that he hits his current girlfriend and cheats on her too.  

10. Varun Grover

Writer-lyricist Varun Grover, who recently earned praise for his writing in Netflix’s hit series Sacred Games, was accused of sexual harassment by a woman who was allegedly his junior in BHU in 2001.

In an anonymous account shared by poet Harnidh Kaur through screenshots on Twitter, the woman accused Varun of touching her inappropriately during the practice of a play he was directing in college.

Varun has categorically denied all the allegations and issued a lengthy statement refuting the woman’s account on a point by point basis. “Am absolutely willing to cooperate and clear my name. Let's not allow such agenda-driven tactics to derail this movement please,” he said.

He has received support from the likes of Anurag Kashyap as well.

11. Subhash Ghai

Filmmaker Subhash Ghai has been accused in an anonymous account of drugging and raping a woman. Her story was shared through screenshot by Mahima Kukreja, one of the women who has been playing a pivotal role in sharing survivors’ stories.

The woman alleged that Subhash forcefully kissed her during a scripting session and on another occasion, he allegedly spiked her drink, took her to a hotel in Lonavla and raped her. She was compelled to go to work with him despite this because she was told she would not be paid unless she completed the month.

Subhash has denied the allegation and threatened to sue the woman. "It's very sad that it's becoming a fashion to malign anyone known, bringing some stories from the past without any truth or half truth if (at) all. I deny strictly and firmly all false allegation like these," Ghai said in a statement sent to IANS via Whatsapp.

"I have always respected every woman in my life and at work place whatsoever... If she claims this way, she should go to court of law and prove it. Justice will be done. Or I will go for defamation certainly," he added.

He also made a statement about the issue on Twitter.

12. Luv Ranjan

Filmmaker Luv Ranjan of Sonu Ke Titu Ke Sweety  fame was accused by an unnamed woman actor of sexual misconduct. The actor, in an interview to Mid-day, said that the incident happened in 2010 when she had gone to audition for a role in Pyaar Ka Punchnaama.

The actor accused Luv of asking her to strip down to her underwear during the audition saying it was so he could see if she needed to lose weight (there was a bikini scene in the film). “He said they were not recording anything and the cinematographer would also leave the room, so I needn't worry. After that, it all gets blurry. My heart was pounding and I rushed out saying I had to leave, and wasn't comfortable with it. I went home and tried to forget about it,” she told Mid-day.

The woman ended up getting the role. However when she met the director again, he asked her uncomfortable and sexually coloured questions, she said. He asked her if she was a virgin, if she used condoms and justified this saying he needed to get to know her. “The last straw was him asking me if I masturbate. By then, I was scared and asked if I could leave.”

After this the woman ended up pulling out of the film. She said that Luv tried calling and messaging her and kept saying she had “misunderstood” him.

Luv told Mid-day that he found the allegations “absurd”. “It's so absurd that I don't know what to say except that I deny it. I don't know how to react to an anonymous allegation beyond this and am willing to face any legitimate enquiry,” he said.

13. Piyush Mishra

Lyricist and composer Piyush Mishra was accused by Ketki Joshi, who formerly worked in a newspaper, of sexual misconduct. In a Facebook post she put up on Thursday, Ketki recounted how in 2014, when she and Piyush were at a house party, he allegedly flirted with her and eventually grabbed her hand twice and started rubbing it.

The second time he did this, Ketki said he also stood up and took a step towards her. “I sensed he was coming to hug me or grope me. I told in an authoritative raised voice, "Aap please baith jaaiye" (Sit down, please). The others listened to it and quickly came there and took me away,” she wrote.

Responding to the allegations, Piyush Mishra apologised and said that he did not remember the incident because he may have been inebriated. “I do not remember the stated incident as I was probably a few drinks down. But nevertheless I would like to extend my apology for making the lady uncomfortable either with my words or actions,” he told PTI.

After this, Ketki wrote another Facebook post saying she was glad Piyush apologized and that she did not want to extend the matter further.

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