The young woman was allegedly harassed by the actor when she worked as a photographer on the sets of ‘Ponnar Shankar’ in 2010.

I was scared for my life and my body Photographer alleges actor Thiagarajan sexually harassed herFacebook
news Sexual Harassment Saturday, October 20, 2018 - 18:25

Sharing her own story of sexual harassment in the film industry Pretika Menon took to Facebook to recount her experience with actor-director Thiagarajan, father of actor Prashanth on a film set on the outskirts of Coimbatore.

As a 21-year-old photographer fresh out of college in 2010, the young woman was looking for work in Chennai when she was recommended for Thiagarajan’s Ponnar Shankar, starring his son Prashant in the lead role.

“A photographer recommended me for a project that he couldn’t be there for. I was to shoot for a coffee table book, behind the scene documentation of a movie project - Ponnar Shankar starring Prashanth and directed by his father Thiagarajan,” she writes in her Facebook post. She then goes on to chronicle several incidents which took place between her and the director in which he tried to take advantage of her.

“Over the next couple of days Thiagarajan would keep finding me on set and urging me to be near him, he started to tell me about his Thai masseuse girls and how wonderful they were. He insinuated that he was sleeping with them,” she goes on to say.  Over time, she was forced to sit next to him at meals and coerced into spending time around him.

The Mumbai-based photographer also alleged that he tried to enter her hotel room three times in one night. She heard a knock on her door at midnight, then another at 2 a.m. and again at 4 a.m. “I was scared for my life and my body. My friend stayed on call with me throughout, I refused to sleep that night until 6am when I drifted to sleep till 8am when breakfast would start and we had to be on set,” she writes.

He later confronted her about not opening the door and claimed that he had medicines and brandy for her cold. Later, he allegedly had her kicked off the set without paying her for her photographs.

Pretika’s allegations against the director come as the latest against a number of people in the film and media industry as women come forward to state their experiences of sexual assault and harassment.

 

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