Tanushree alleged that Nana Patekar got the makers to add an "intimate step" in what would have been her solo song in 'Horn Ok Pleassss', just so he could touch her.

Everyone knew said nothing Tanushree Dutta accuses Nana Patekar of sexual harassment Nana Patekar (L), Tanushree Dutta (R)
Flix Sexual harassment Wednesday, September 26, 2018 - 18:27

“He had no business being on set, it was my solo sequence. But there he was… pulling me my arms, teaching me the dance,” Tanushree Dutta says, recounting the shooting of her 2009 movie Horn 'Ok' Pleassss.

Bollywood actor Tanushree Dutta has accused veteran actor Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her on the sets of the movie. In an interview to ZoomTV, the actor, who debuted in Bollywood with Aashiq Banaya Aapne and was last seen in 2010 film Apartment, recounted how Nana Patekar allegedly sexually harassed her when they were shooting for Horn 'Ok' Pleassss.

She names the film’s producer Samee Siddiqui, director Rakesh Sarang and choreographer Ganesh Acharya, saying they knew about the harassment.

Tanushree was shooting the song Nathani (later performed in the film by Rakhi Sawant). According to the contract, Tanushree says, it was supposed to be a solo sequence. However, Nana Patekar came to the set.

“His antics started from day one. I complained to director and producer that I was facing a lot of problems because of him and they should tell him to stay away from me. He had no business being on set, it was my solo sequence. But there he was… pulling me with my arms, teaching me the dance,” Tanushree alleges.

She adds that the director and producer did not heed to her complaints.

Then Nana Patekar wanted an “intimate step” to be added to the song sequence with him and the heroine. “Means… the girl is new, she’s a young actor, so whether it’s required or not, do an intimate scene with her! Apni tharak nikaalne ka ek side ka tareeka hai (It was just a way for him to satisfy his lust),” she said.

At one point, Tanushree refused to do the "intimate step" with Nana Patekar. Her parents came on set to pick her up.

"My father told them, let's shoot with a calm mind tomorrow, go and think over the solution in the night. My daughter will not do an intimate step with this man (Nana Patekar) because he has bad intentions. He has been troubling her for two days. If it's about the ego for you where you want to keep the actor, you think it over in the night," Tanushree says.

However, she alleged, Nana Patekar called goons onto the set. The producers, meanwhile, called the media for publicity. Tanushree’s car was vandalised. The producer apparently closed the gates of the studio so that Tanushree and her family could not leave. The gates were opened only when police arrived.

People know about Nana Patekar’s behaviour towards women, Tanushree says, but have not spoken up about it and have been complicit, Tanushree said.

“He has always misbehaved with women. Everyone in the industry, [talks] in hushed tones and knows that he has beaten women, sexually harassed them. His perception of women and his behaviour with them has always been bad, but no publication has ever published it. Everyone gossips behind [his] back,” she said.

She pointed out that while it is people like Nana Patekar who are problematic, assumptions are made about people like her – since she is a heroine who does glamorous roles and photoshoots, she would be ‘easy’ as well.

Tanushree’s reference to Nana Patekar sending goons to harass her was corroborated by a journalist who witnessed them 10 years ago. Janice Sequiera narrated on Twitter that she was a cub reporter in 2008 and was assigned by Aaj Tak and Headlines Today to cover behind the scenes of the song in which Tanushree was supposed to feature. When she came on set, she was told that shooting had been stalled because the woman actor was “being difficult”.

One of Tanushree’s interviewers at ZoomTV also posted screenshots of her chat with the actor, where the latter says that thought she had “lost everything to this fight”, she was doing this so that she could at least “bring a sense of hope to others and give them courage to release their demons of self-guilt and shame and self-loathing by speaking out as well (sic).”

Tanushree had also spoken about it at the time it happened. In a ZoomTV clip from 10 years ago, Tanushree is seen alluding to what happened on the set of Horn ‘OK’ Pleassss. “The kind of behaviour that I witnessed in those few months from various people shows about them more than me. I’ve conducted myself with a lot of dignity and I pride myself for that,” she had said.

Big actors should condemn offenders in their midst

Tanushree questioned actors such as Akshay Kumar and Rajinikanth for working with people like Nana Patekar, despite knowing his history of inappropriate behaviour with women. Nana Patekar was seen in the Rajinikanth-starrer Kaala recently.

“If such big actors continue to work with these kinds of people, what hope is there for any movement to happen? ...When you have an opportunity to stand for the words to have spoken, you don’t do it. You are working with someone who has not only harassed an individual but sent goons to hurt an individual, to attack that woman,” Tanushree argued.

She added that big stars have the power and position to do something about these things, but they don’t. She questioned whether they have a sense of responsibility and respect, and whether the message they wanted to give their daughters was that it’s okay if she gets harassed by a man, because the people in power will continue to work with him anyway.

“I want to ask these big stars to stop talking. Stop being fake and just blabbering, do it. Show it with your actions, your intentions and your heart and your sincerity,” Tanushree urged.

Allegations about arbitrary casting of women

The actor also made several shocking revelations about the casting procedure in Bollywood and how women actors are allegedly cast arbitrarily based on the male actor’s preferences.

Talking about an incident narrated to her by more experienced woman actors when Tanushree was new to the industry, she said, “They were telling about an incident about some casting process… some names of heroines were recommended to one top actor. You must know that [male] actors decide who will play the heroine. The casting directors only decide who will play the side roles and subsequent roles. Top lead actress, the actor only casts.”

In another clip shared by ZoomTV, an actor, who was being asked about who should be cast as the heroine, apparently asked no questions about the heroine’s acting skills or anything related to her profession. “He asked, ‘Deti hai kya?’ (Does she put out?) This is the attitude in Bollywood and the film industry in India. Agar nahi deti, toh film nahi milegi (If you don’t put out, you won’t get the film),” Tanushree said.

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