MUMBAI: The sexual harassment saga between Tanushree Dutta and Nana Patekar has intensified further and police have started probing into the harassment allegations. The actress Tanushree Dutta whose public allegations of sexual harassment by Bollywood star Nana Patekar is sparking a string of similar #MeToo claims has filed a formal complaint, police have said here.
Speaking to the media, Patekar said, “The truth which was there 10 years back stands true even today”. He also added that his team of lawyers has asked him to refrain from giving out further comments to the media.
Tanushree has alleged that Patekar misbehaved with her on the sets of the film ‘Horn Ok Pleasss’ in 2008. She also accused him of harassing her while shooting for a special dance number for the movie. As a retort, Patekar has slapped her with a legal notice, while Tanushree filed a police complaint over the issue on Saturday.
The ‘Aashiq Banaya Aapne’ actor has also claimed that she and her family were attacked after she declined to perform some intimate steps with the veteran actor. The producer of Horn ‘Ok’ Pleassss, Samee Siddiqui, submitted his response to Tanushree’s police complaint and stated that she wasn’t molested and is raking up the issue for publicity.
The row between the two has B-Town divided with celebrities having divergent views on the issue. While the likes of Farhan Akhtar, Priyanka Chopra and Sonam Kapoor have come out in Tanushree’s support, others like Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan preferred to dodge questions pertaining to it.
Former Miss Universe contestant Tanushree Dutta first alleged in 2008 that multi-award-winning Nana Patekar behaved inappropriately toward her during the making of a romantic comedy the same year. No action was taken at the time against Patekar and she made no formal complaint. But emboldened by the global #MeToo, Dutta repeated the allegations in a recent interview and on Saturday went to the police to officially report the 2008 sexual harrassment claims.
“Dutta visited the police station last night and submitted a written complaint,” Shailesh Pasalwar, a Mumbai police inspector, has said.
“We are investigating the case but right now, it is not an FIR (First Information Report, or a formal investigation) but a written complaint about harassment incident,” he added.
She also alleged in the interview that filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri had behaved inappropriately toward her during the shooting of the 2005 movie “Chocolate: Deep Dark Secrets.”
The actress said in a statement last week that she had received legal notices from both Patekar and Agnihotri, who deny her accusations. Dutta said she had also received “violent threats” from the fringe, far-right nationalist group Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and has been hounded by a “smear campaign” on social media since reiterating her claims against the pair. “This is the age-old saga of survivors in our nation,” she said.
Dutta has received the backing of several high-profile stars including Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar and Sonam Kapoor. Other actresses have however begun to speak out about an issue almost never discussed in Indian media.
In December, star Swara Bhaskar said she had been harassed by an unnamed director early in her career. Bhaskar also referred to a “casting couch” culture where young women are expected to exchange sexual favors to secure film roles. Bollywood’s cliquey nature also made it difficult to go public, she said.