#Metoo Now Hits Ghai, Sajid Khan

MUMBAI — Indian film-makers Subhash Ghai and Sajid Khan are the latest Bollywood’s big­wigs to have been accused of sexual misconduct.

Ghai was named by an anonymous account shared on Twitter, shared by writer Ma­hima Kukreja, who was one of the first women to accuse co­median Utsav Chakraborty of sexual harassment last week, according to Hindustan Times.

Kukreja said the woman is “very credible media/lit per­sonality, who does not want to be named”. The woman said she worked with Ghai on a film years ago and he started taking an extra interest in her and would often call her for script sessions at his apart­ment, which he would alleg­edly call his “thinking pad”.

She claims he once force­fully kissed her but tried to pacify her the next day by calling the incident a “lover’s tiff”. She said she told the first assistant director and two oth­er women about the incident but decided to let it go because she had no job or financial se­curity at that time. She alleges that after a late music session, he decided to have a drink and offered one to her, which “was spiked” while he was dropping her home in the car.

The woman remembers being taken to a hotel room and assaulted before losing consciousness.

When contacted, 73-year-old Ghai told PTI, “It is sad that it is becoming a fashion to malign anyone known, bring­ing some stories from past without any truth or blown up false allegations if all. I deny strictly and firmly all false al­legations like these.” The di­rector said he has always been respectful towards women in life as well in workplace.

“If she claims this way, she should go to the court of law and prove it. Justice will be done or I will go for defama­tion certainly,” he added.

Khan, on the other hand, was called out by three wom­en. The most prominent one being of his former assistant director, Saloni Chopra.

“It took me years to get over the trauma he put me through. I was so scared around the people I worked with. And I’m sure he’s done this to so many other girls, I just want them to know they’re not alone. It’s been 7 years, and it’s about time I said it out loud,” she wrote in a heart-wrenching letter on a website.

“When I first started work­ing for Sajid, he said I was a ‘director’s assistant’ and not an ‘assistant director’ which ap­parently meant that I’d have to do his work directly. I was okay with that. Slowly, he started calling at really odd hours. If I didn’t pick up I was told it didn’t matter to him if I was shower­ing or anything else, when he called — I had to answer. I was petrified,” Chopra wrote.

“The calls started coming at 12 am and 2 am. He said the industry never sleeps and work happens at all hours… except he wasn’t talking about work. He’d ask me what I’m wearing or what I ate,” she added.

“One night, it got really ugly. I was so tired of the calls and the constant harassment, I asked him what he wanted from me. I told him that if this was just about intimacy then I was willing to do it pro­vided he backed off afterwards and stopped calling me every day,” added the budding actor. “I was so tired of his behav­iour that even my fear of him wasn’t enough to shut me up.”

Chopra further added the next day his behaviour was even more obscene. “That night he called and told me to take a few days off, threaten­ing to fire me. I said nothing to him,” she stated.

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