Indian filmmaker Anurag Kashyap has denied sexual misconduct allegations levelled against him by actor Payal Ghosh.
On Sept. 19 Ghosh tweeted: “@anuragkashyap72 has forced himself on me and extremely badly. @[email protected] ji, kindly take action and let the country see the demon behind this creative guy. I am aware that it can harm me and my security is at risk. Pls help!”
In a YouTube posting Payal says that the alleged incident took place during the shooting of Fox’s “Bombay Velvet.” The film was released in 2015, which would then appear to place the allegations in 2014.
Kashyap dismissed all allegations as baseless on Twitter, and on Sept. 21 his lawyer Priyanka Khamani issued a press statement.
“My client, Anurag Kashyap, has been deeply pained by the false allegations of sexual misconduct that have surfaced against him,” the statement read. “These allegations are completely false, malicious and dishonest. It is sad that a social movement as important as the #metoo movement has been co-opted by vested interests and reduced to a mere tool for character assassination. Fictitious allegations of this nature seriously undermine the movement and seek to unconscionably trade upon the pain and trauma of actual victims of sexual harassment and abuse. My client has been fully advised of his rights and remedies in law and intends to pursue them to the fullest extent.”
Meanwhile, Kashyap’s ex-wife Kalki Koechlin, and several women who have worked with the actor-director-producer have emerged in support of him. Some comments identified the allegations against Kashyap as part of a recent process of religious and party-political polarization across Indian society and, especially, social media.
Guneet Monga, who co-produced “The Lunchbox” alongside Kashyap and others, issued a statement on Twitter prefaced by: “Don’t need Twitter to explain what @anuragkashyap72 means to many of us. As a woman, am here to share my journey & definitely here to call out bulls**t. Let’s not ruin an important #Metoo movement for some agendas!”
Saiyami Kher, who starred in Kashyap’s Netflix original film “Choked,” tweeted: “The first time I met
@anuragkashyap72 he called me to his Versova house. Before I could say anything, he said, “My parents live with me. You don’t have to worry!”
“He was supposed to be the “Bad Boy of Bollywood”. His life according to the outside world was “riddled with drugs, women & vices.” The truth, I later learnt, was COMPLETELY the opposite.”
Sayani Gupta, one of the leads in Amazon Prime Video series “Four More Shots Please,” referenced the media attention around the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, tweeting:
“Worst of human kind seen in the last few months:
1. Appropriating someone’s death for personal vendetta.
2. Appropriating one of the most important movements for political vendetta.
#MeToo #IStandwithAnuragKashyap @anuragkashyap72″
Ghosh took to Twitter on Sunday to deny that her accusations were politically-motivated. Meanwhile, India’s National Commission For Women has advised Ghosh to file a detailed complaint to them. No complaint has been filed with the police.
Kashyap is known for Cannes titles “Gangs of Wasseypur” and “Psycho Raman.” Ghosh’s credits include “Sharpe,” “Mr. Rascal,” and “Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi.”
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