#MeToo: Rajkumar Hirani accused of sexual harassment

Now this is a shocker! Film director Rajkumar Hirani has been accused of sexual assault by woman who worked on ‘Sanju’ as one of his Assistant Directors. Hirani has denied the allegations, which were detailed in an email that was sent by the woman to ‘Sanju’ co-producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra, his wife (and film critic) Anupama Chopra, and scriptwriter Abhijat Joshi.

Rajkumar Hirani has delivered some of the biggest blockbusters in Bollywood, and is known for his socially-focused movies, mostly presented with liberal dose of humor.

This particular incident was reported for ‘Sanju’, based on Sanjay Dutt’s life.

As per the news reported in Huffington Post, Rajkumar Hirani has been sexually abusing the woman over a period of six months.

In her e-mail dated November 3, 2018, the woman wrote, “I remember forming these words on my lips – “Sir. This is wrong…Because of this power structure. You being the absolute power and me being a mere assistant, a nobody – I will never be able to express myself to you. My mind, body and heart were grossly violated that night and for the next 6 months,”

She even stated that on April 9, 2018, Hirani first made a sexually suggestive remark to her and then sexually assaulted her at his home office. Talking about the incident in an interview with Huffington Post, the alleged victim said, “I had no choice but to be polite to him. It was unbearable but the reason I endured it all until I couldn’t, was because I didn’t want my job to be taken away from me, and work to be questioned. Ever. I was worried that if I left midway, it would be impossible to find another job in this industry if he were to speak badly about my work,”

She further added, “Because if Hirani said I wasn’t good, everybody would listen. My future would be in jeopardy.”

Rajkumar Hirani has denied all such allegations through his lawyer, Anand Desai. In an e-mail to Huffington Post, Desai said, “At the outset, our client states that the allegations made against him are false, mischievous, scandalous, motivated and defamatory,”

Later, he released another official statement in which Hirani said, “I was completely shocked when these allegations were brought to my notice about two months back. I had suggested immediately that it is essential to take this matter to any committee or any legal body. The complainant has chosen to go to the media instead. I want to very strongly state that this is a false malicious and mischievous story being spread with the sole intention of destroying my reputation.”

Meanwhile, it seems Vidhu Vinod Chopra is not happy with the development and is contemplating severing all ties with Raju Hirani; the two have collaborated on several films together. Raju Hirani responded to this query by saying that “Its sad that there’s pressure on their relationship because of this allegation which is completely false”.

Meanwhile, Rajkumar Hirani’s name has been removed from the recent posters and trailer of Sonam Kapoor’s Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga which has been produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Rajkumar Hirani. Industry insiders feel Hirani’s name may not also appear in the credits of the film.

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