Bollywood actor Tanushree Dutta’s recently accused veteran actor Nana Patekar of sexual harassment and alleged that everyone in the industry is aware of Patekar’s mistreatment of women but no one raised their voice against it.
Nana Patekar, who previously did not comment on the matter, broke his silence while speaking to an Indian media outlet and laughed off the matter.
“What does she mean by sexual harassment? There were 50-100 people on set with me,” Patekar is reported to have said.
He further said, “What can I do about it? You tell me,” adding that he is contemplating taking legal action.
Tanushree had alleged that Patekar, a Padma Shri and National Award-winning actor, had behaved inappropriately towards her during the shooting of a song for 2008’s Horn OK Pleassss.
“Everyone knows about Nana Patekar that he has always been disrespectful towards women. People in the industry know about his background… that he has beaten actresses, molested them and his behaviour with women has always been crude, but no publication has printed anything about it,” she had said.
Recalling the incident, Tanushree said, “He misbehaved on the sets. He was being aggressive and was pushing me around. I complained about him, but it was not heard. They (film crew) were forcing me to do an intimate step,” adding that her contract had stated that it was a solo dance sequence.
The actor said that her family was also attacked when she refused to do the dance steps, eventually causing her to drop out of the film. She was replaced with Rakhi Sawant.
“It was horrific. They made sure that we didn’t escape the studio as they locked the gates. [Choreographer] Ganesh Acharya was the one who pressurised me to perform an intimate step,” Tanushree claimed.
The film’s choreographer, Ganesh Acharya, had spoken up in defence of Patekar. “He’s 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.”
He also added that he doesn’t remember what happened that day as the incident is from 10 years ago.
Tanushree in response called Ganesh ‘a bloody liar’ for being complicit in her abuse.
“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 or Ganesh. I don’t want them to work. I want them to suffer the consequences of their actions,” Tanushree lashed.