Remember Tanushree Dutta? Despite the fact that she won the Femina Miss India pageant in 2003 and starred in the massive box office success Aashiq Banaya Aapne, it is highly likely that you may not even recall her face. Wondering why?
In 2008, the actress alleged that Nana Patekar had harassed her on the sets of the movie Horn ‘Ok’ Pleassss. She had even given multiple interviews regarding the same but as years passed, Dutta disappeared from the scene while Patekar’s fame remained comparatively untouched.
Now, the 34-year-old has spoken about it and two media professionals have come forward and corroborated her story.
What Dutta says:
“I have been speaking about it for the last ten years. I want to say one thing, this is an allegation, this is not huge. It’s happening rampantly everywhere. A lot of people are getting away with harassment. It’s not huge. It’s time to make this dialogue normal. Yes, this bugger troubled me, let’s go after him. Let’s make sure he doesn’t do it again. Ten years back this was a taboo topic,” the actress told NDTV.
Dutta also alleged that the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena attacked and threatened her at the behest of Patekar.
On being asked if she received any support from the industry, this is what she told the media organisation: “The industry will support from behind. They call up and support but they don’t come out and condemn anything and they don’t stop working with them.”
What journalist Janice Sequeira says:
Sequeira was a cub reporter for Aaj Tak and Headlines Today when the incident took place. She was assigned to cover the shoot of a song from the film Horn Ok Please. “When I arrived, I was told shooting had been stalled because the actress, Tanushree Dutta was upset. As I entered the set, I could see that Tanushree was visibly upset about something,” she wrote on social media.
“A while later, shooting resumed. Tanushree resumed work, and a couple shots later, Nana Patekar joined her. Not long after that, Tanushree walked off set. Shooting halted again. Tanushree remained locked in her vanity van, refusing to come out. Out of nowhere, goons turned up on set and began beating up the vanity van door. I was told the producers had called them to set to help get their money back. Eventually, cops arrived. Amidst this chaos, I got hold of Nana Patekar to get a sense of what was happening. All he said was, “Meri beti jaisi hai, mere beti jays hai”, which didn’t really make sense at that point,” she further writes.
“For everyone who’s either going to be ignoring or downplaying Tanushree Dutta’s account in the coming days, asking why she didn’t speak out earlier – she did. Interviews by Dutta were followed by a press conference called by #NanaPatekar and the film’s producers where she was branded “unprofessional”. This was a decade ago. It could have possibly been the first instance of a Bollywood actress calling out sexual predators, and her voice by silenced by more powerful men who continued to have flourishing careers,” she concludes.
Read her entire post below:
What Lada Guruden Singh has to say:
Multiple B-town celebs have come forward to voice their support for Dutta:
Many of my co-workers,female and male have been harassed and bullied, but it’s their story to tell. If we don’t encourage their voices and instead vilify and question them, how will victims ever become survivors? Let them speak up! Stand up with them!
— Sonam K Ahuja (@sonamakapoor) September 28, 2018
Please read this thread before judging or shaming #TanushreeDutta a working environment without harassment and intimidation is a fundamental right and by speaking up this brave woman helps pave the way towards that very goal for all of us! https://t.co/f8Nj9YWRvE
— Twinkle Khanna (@mrsfunnybones) September 28, 2018
— PRIYANKA (@priyankachopra) September 28, 2018
— Parineeti Chopra (@ParineetiChopra) September 28, 2018
This thread is very telling. @janiceseq85 was there at the time of the incident being debated today. Even when #TanushreeDutta had career concerns to keep quiet 10 years ago she did not & her story hasn’t changed now. Her courage should be admired, not her intention questioned. https://t.co/Ola3MNdmtS
— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) September 27, 2018
Twitter users also dug up an old interview where Dimple Kapadia admits that she’s seen Nana Patekar’s “dark side”. While it is not clear what she’s referring to, a lot of social media users have connected it to the Dutta issue.
Nana Patekar’s “dark side” has always been an open secret in Bollywood.
Dimple Kapadia said this 8 years ago. pic.twitter.com/9hbd0WmcZo
— Od (@odshek) September 28, 2018