The former beauty queen Tanushree Dutta, who sparked the entire #MeToo campaign in the film industry, had alleged that veteran Bollywood actor Nana Patekar had sexually harassed her on the sets of film ‘Horn Ok Pleasss’ in 2008, in which she was supposed to do a special dance number. Tanushree claimed that Patekar made her uncomfortable to the extent that she eventually had to opt out of doing the song.
In her accusations, she also accused director Rakesh Sarang, producer Sami Siddiqui and choreographer Ganesh Acharya along with Nana who was present on the set at the time of the incident. She lodged a formal complaint against them in which she slapped sexual harassment charges while outlining what she had gone through.
In her earlier statement Dutt said, “He misbehaved with me on the film’s set. He was being aggressive and was pushing me around. I complained to director about him, but it was not heard. Film’s crew were forcing me to do an intimate step. As per my contract, it was a solo dance sequence, and was not supposed to be a duet. It was a way to manipulate me”.
Tanushree further alleged that she and her family were attacked by Nana’s supporters after she refused to perform the intimate scene. She said in her statement “some political party worker started assaulting and damaging my car while me and my family were sitting inside the car trying to leave the venue.”
Talking about above controversy, at the launch of his dance academy GADA in Mumbai, Ganesh said, “Tanushree’s case is completely false and a dramatic story. When I was choreographing that song, the artist, along with the dancers’ crew, do rehearsals about five days prior to the shooting. If any harassment had happened, how come other actors and crew members were not aware about it?”
Ganesh Acharya has also denied Tanushree’s claims and said “Nana is a very sweet person, he can never do that. He is very helpful and he has actually helped a lot of artistes in the industry, he can never do anything like that.”
However, Ganesh denied that there was any kind of mob violence by members of a political party on the sets. “I can confirm that nothing this sort of happened. It’s a wrong statement that Nana ji called members of some political party on set. It never happened,” he said.
In response to Acharya’s claims, in an interview with ANI, Tanushree said “He’s a bloody liar and a two-faced person. He’s going to say all that. And 10 years ago, he was one of those people who were equally complacent in the harassment. He won’t admit it.”
She further added, “He’s not the end goal of this discussion. He’s the reason why this discussion started. I want the industry to ban these people from working just to set an example for others. You can’t get away with this behaviour. My fight is not with Nana Patekar or Ganesh Acharya. I don’t want them to work. I want them to suffer the consequences of their actions.”