Prominent Indian filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani has been accused of sexually harassing a woman who worked with him on his 2018 movie Sanju.
In an interview with Huffington Post India, the woman alleged that Hirani allegedly sexually assaulted her in the period between March and September 2018.
According to the Huff Post India’s report, the allegations were made via an email dated November 3, 2018, and addressed to Hirani’s regular collaborator Vidhu Vinod Chopra, film critic and Chopra’s wife Anupama Chopra, sister Shelly Chopra Dhar and co-writer Abhijat Joshi.
The woman claimed that Hirani made a first sexually suggestive remark on April 9, 2018, and then assaulted her at his home office.
In the email, the woman said, “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,” the HuffPost report quotes the woman as saying in her email to Chopra,” the email continued.
Speaking to HuffPost, the woman says, “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.”
Following the allegations, Hirani responded to them, terming the allegations as “false, malicious and mischievous”.
In his statement, Hirani said, “I was completely shocked when these allegations were brought to my notice about two months ago. I had suggested immediately that it is essential to take this matter to any committee or 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.”