As Bill Cosby heads to prison to serve his sentence for sexual abuse, and Padma Lakshmi details her ordeal of being raped and molested, another incident of #MeToo has surfaced after Bollywood actor Tanushree Dutta made an explosion revelation alleging that veteran actor Nana Patekar sexually harassed her. Dutta further said that Nana’s reputation of sexual misconduct is well known in the Hindi film industry, but little has been done about it.
Tanushree Dutta, in an interview dated 2008, had said that a fellow co-star had behaved with her inappropriately on set. However, she had not revealed her perpetrator at that point. But Dutta has now come forward to reveal that her harasser was Nana Patekar.
“I want to take names – actor Nana Patekar, producer Sami Siddiqui, director Rakesh Sarang and choreographer Ganesh Acharya. When Nana Patekar misbehaved with me, he said out loud that he would do an intimate step with me in the song, which wasn’t mentioned in my contract. It was supposed to be a solo sequence of mine. I would feel very uncomfortable when he would come next to me and try to put his arm around me,” Dutta said in the interview.
“He was grabbing me by the arms, pushing me around then he would ask the choreographers to move and teach me how to dance, and the next thing I know he wanted to do was an intimate sequence with me. It was ridiculous.”
She adds: “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, he has molested them, his behaviour with women has always been crude but no publication has printed anything about it.”
Dutta also says she was “probably one of the first people in the history of this country in the media field to speak up and stand up” against sexual misconduct.
“Everybody saw what happened but the memory and the popular perception of it is that Tanushree Dutta spoke up against harassment and then she was no more.”
Dutta further noted that established stars such as Akshay Kumar and Rajinikanth have worked with Nana in the last eight years but have not commented on called out Nana on the matter.
“Akshay has made few films with Nana in last eight years and Rajinikanth also recently worked with him (in Kaala)… If such big stars will keep working with these culprits then there’s no hope for any movement to happen.”
The alleged incident took place on the shoot of a special number for Horn Ok Pleassss. Dutta was replaced by Rakhi Sawant after she dropped out of the film.
Nana, a Padma Shri and National Award winner has not commented on the matter yet.