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October 25, 2020
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Anurag Kashyap Calls Payal Ghosh’s Sexual Harassment Allegations ‘Baseless’

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Mumbai: Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap on Sunday said the sexual harrassment allegations levelled against him by actor Payal Ghosh are baseless. On Saturday, Ghosh took to Twitter and alleged that the Gangs of Wasseypur director had been sexually inappropriate towards her.

The 30-year-old actor tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi in her tweet, requesting him to take action against Kashyap.

 

In a video released to ABN Telugu, Ghosh claimed that the incident happened in 2014-2015.

The actor, who made her Hindi debut with Rishi Kapoor-Paresh Rawal starrer Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi, also claimed that Kashyap boasted about his connection with megastar Amitabh Bachchan and claimed that there were other female artistes who he had gotten intimate with.

In a series of Twitter posts in Hindi, Kashyap dismissed the allegations, calling it an attempt to “silence” him.

The 48-year-old director has been vocal against the criticism and vilification of Bollywood by celebrities and trolls.

“Such a long time was taken to shut me up, never mind. (But) while shutting me up, you lied so much that you dragged other women also in it. Please maintain some dignity madam. All I will say is that all your allegations are baseless,” Kashyap tweeted.

Refuting the claims, Kashyap said the video is a testimony of “how much truth and false” there is.

“While placing allegations against me you dragged my artistes and Bachchan family… Madam, I have been married twice, if that’s a crime then I admit to it. I also admit that I have loved a lot, whether it’s my first wife or second.”

Also read: ‘Silence Can’t Refute Her Truth’: M.J. Akbar’s Defamation Case Against Priya Ramani Nears End

“Any lover or all those female actors with whom I’ve worked or the team of all those girls and women that have been working with me or all those women I’ve met in private or in public. I neither behaved like this nor do I tolerate such a behaviour at any cost. Rest we will see what happens,” he added.

Ghosh found support in National Commission for Women, with its chairperson Rekha Sharma assuring the actor that the NCW will take cognisance of the case.

Industry friends come out in Kashyap’s support

Kashyap’s former wife and film editor Aarti Bajaj, and friends from the industry Taapsee Pannu, Anubhav Sinha, Tisca Chopra and Surveen Chawla, have come out in support of the director after Ghosh accused him of sexual harrassment.

Kashyap’s first wife Bajaj said the filmmaker was somebody who makes sure to create a safe work environment for his female co-workers.

“First wife here… You are a rockstar @anuragkashyap10. Keep empowering women as you do and the safest place you create for all of them. I see it first hand with our daughter,” Bajaj posted on Instagram.

“There is no integrity left and the world is full of losers and no brains baying for blood of anyone who has a voice. If everybody spend that energy which they use in hating others constructively this world will be a better place,” she added.

Calling Ghosh’s allegation the “cheapest” stunt, Bajaj urged Kashyap to keep raising his voice against every wrong. “Cheapest stunt I have seen till now. First it made me angry then I laughed so hard as it cannot come more framed than this. I am sorry that you have to go through this. That’s the level of them. You stay high and keep using your voice. We love you,” she added.

Also read: Dhrupad Sansthan: Five-Member Panel to Probe Misconduct Allegations Against Two Gurus

Pannu, who collaborated with Kashyap on the 2018 romantic-drama Manmarziyaan, took to Instagram and wrote that the filmmaker was “the biggest feminist” she knew.

 

Sinha said the existence of the #MeToo movement is to amplify voices of harassed women and it should not be misused.

Chawla, who worked with the filmmaker on his two-part Netflix series Sacred Games, said the allegation against the director reeked of “opportunism”.

In a subsequent tweet, Chawla said Kashyap’s legacy is stronger than the allegation.

“Your life, your work and the women you create with your craft…speak volumes about you. I have the privilege to know the real feminist in you, I take the honour my friend to stand for you! @anuragkashyap72,” she added.

Chopra, who featured alongside Kashyap and Chawla in the short film Chhuri, said the filmmaker was one of the biggest supporters of talent, be it men or women.

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