“I believe her,” said actor Sonam Kapoor, reaffirming her support for Tanushree Dutta, who accused Nana Patekar of sexual harassment. Sonam made the statement at WeTheWomen Asia, curated by journalist Barkha Dutt, in Bengaluru. The actor further spoke about the allegations of sexual assault against Vikas Behl as well and said that if all these allegations are proved, they must be punished.
"I believe her (Tanushree). I believe if someone asks you a question directly and you are diplomatic about it, I find it so cowardly. And for what? She's not asking to come back to the industry, she is just asking to be heard. She's only asking to be heard because she was asked a question. And it's so unfortunate that nobody spoke up for her,” Sonam said, while in conversation with author Anuja Chauhan and producer Pooja Shetty.
Tanushree Dutta has alleged that Nana Patekar harassed her on the sets of Horn Ok Pleassss in 2008. Tanushree alleged that he pulled her by her arms, tried to teach her the dance steps and even got an intimate step added to the choreography just so that he could touch her. When she tried to leave the set, she was also mobbed. However, no action was taken.
“Three of us (Farhan Akhtar, Sonam Kapoor and Swara Bhaskar) have said on social media that we believe her. But people at press conferences are not giving an answer when they were asked, and they have the power to move things,” she said.
Sonam also addressed the sexual assault allegations against producer Vikas Bahl, which surfaced after an article by HuffPost India. Vikas Bahl was one of the four heads at Phantom films, which was recently dissolved. He has been accused of sexually assaulting a female crew member during the promotional tour of Bombay Velvet.
“This whole thing that has happened at Phantom, I find it disgusting. I read that article and it was disgusting. It's gut-wrenching,” she said.
“But I find the behaviour despicable and cowardly. When my father read the article, he said whatever happens to these men they deserve it,” she added.
When asked about how she will deal with it, Sonam replied that she did not know.
“I hope girls and boys to know that even if it is one person speaking it makes a difference. I don't know him (Vikas Bahl) I don't know the situation but if what is written is true, it is disgusting. It's awful. And if it is true they should absolutely be punished for it,” she said.