Bollywood actor Tanushree Dutta has received legal notices from actor Nana Patekar and filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, both of whom she accused of sexually harassing her in two separate incidents. According to news agency ANI, Tanushree confirmed the same and said, “This is the price you pay for speaking out against harassment, humiliation and injustice in India.”
Tanushree added in a statement that both Nana and Vivek’s teams were conducting a “smear campaign” against her and were spreading lies and misinformation about her on social media.
She also said that she was receiving threats from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). She had alleged in a TV interview that goons from the outfit had come to the film set where Nana Patekar sexually harassed her in 2008. The goons, she said, trashed her car, and blocked its movement even though she and her parents were inside it. A video of what appears to be the same incident has emerged; however, the goons carry no visible signs of being affiliated to the MNS.
Tanushree also said that two individuals had tried forcibly entering her home, but were stopped in time by the security in her building. “Violent threats are being issued against me by the MNS party. I'm being threatened to be dragged into the court and legal system of India,” she said.
A week ago, Zoom TV had released interviews where Tanushree accused Nana of sexually harassing her during the shoot of a song (later performed by Rakhi Sawant) in the 2009 film Horn Ok Pleassss. Nana had allegedly touched her inappropriately and gotten the choreographer, Ganesh Acharya, to add a lewd step in the dance just so that Nana could touch her.
In a separate interview to DNA, Tanushree also alleged that director Vivek Agnihotri had told her during the shooting of 2005 movie, Chocolate: Deep Dark Secrets, to remove her clothes and dance off camera to provide a cue to another actor.
She narrated that her co-actor in the movie, actor Irrfan Khan, was shooting a solo scene and it was a close-up of the actor. “This guy (Vivek Agnihotri) wanted me to give cues to an actor (Irrfan). It was an actor's close-up. It was not even my shot. I was not even going to be in the shot. It was the actor's close-up and he had to just look at something and give expressions. This director, he told me, ‘Jao jaake kapde utaar ke naacho, usko cues do (Take off your clothes and dance, give him cues)’,” Tanushree had said.
Both Irrfan and co-star Suniel Shetty had reprimanded the director and stood up for her at the time, she added.
Over the past week, several film personalities have come out in support of Tanushree like Priyanka Chopra, Twinkle Khanna, Parineeti Chopra, Swara Bhasker, Farhan Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap and Vir Das.