Mumbai: Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap on Sunday said the sexual harrassment allegations levelled against him by actor Payal Ghosh are baseless. On Saturday, Ghosh took to Twitter and alleged that the Gangs of Wasseypur director had been sexually inappropriate towards her.
The 30-year-old actor tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi in her tweet, requesting him to take action against Kashyap.
@anuragkashyap72 has forced himself on me and extremely badly. @PMOIndia @narendramodi 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! https://t.co/1q6BYsZpyx
— Payal Ghosh (@iampayalghosh) September 19, 2020
In a video released to ABN Telugu, Ghosh claimed that the incident happened in 2014-2015.
The actor, who made her Hindi debut with Rishi Kapoor-Paresh Rawal starrer Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi, also claimed that Kashyap boasted about his connection with megastar Amitabh Bachchan and claimed that there were other female artistes who he had gotten intimate with.
In a series of Twitter posts in Hindi, Kashyap dismissed the allegations, calling it an attempt to “silence” him.
क्या बात है , इतना समय ले लिया मुझे चुप करवाने की कोशिश में । चलो कोई नहीं ।मुझे चुप कराते कराते इतना झूठ बोल गए की औरत होते हुए दूसरी औरतों को भी संग घसीट लिया। थोड़ी तो मर्यादा रखिए मैडम। बस यही कहूँगा की जो भी आरोप हैं आपके सब बेबुनियाद हैं ।१/४
— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) September 19, 2020
The 48-year-old director has been vocal against the criticism and vilification of Bollywood by celebrities and trolls.
“Such a long time was taken to shut me up, never mind. (But) while shutting me up, you lied so much that you dragged other women also in it. Please maintain some dignity madam. All I will say is that all your allegations are baseless,” Kashyap tweeted.
Refuting the claims, Kashyap said the video is a testimony of “how much truth and false” there is.
“While placing allegations against me you dragged my artistes and Bachchan family… Madam, I have been married twice, if that’s a crime then I admit to it. I also admit that I have loved a lot, whether it’s my first wife or second.”
“Any lover or all those female actors with whom I’ve worked or the team of all those girls and women that have been working with me or all those women I’ve met in private or in public. I neither behaved like this nor do I tolerate such a behaviour at any cost. Rest we will see what happens,” he added.
Ghosh found support in National Commission for Women, with its chairperson Rekha Sharma assuring the actor that the NCW will take cognisance of the case.
You may send me the detailed complaint at email@example.com and @NCWIndia will look into it. @iampayalghosh https://t.co/KZzPwkmuwZ
— Rekha Sharma (@sharmarekha) September 19, 2020
Industry friends come out in Kashyap’s support
Kashyap’s former wife and film editor Aarti Bajaj, and friends from the industry – Taapsee Pannu, Anubhav Sinha, Tisca Chopra and Surveen Chawla, have come out in support of the director after Ghosh accused him of sexual harrassment.
Kashyap’s first wife Bajaj said the filmmaker was somebody who makes sure to create a safe work environment for his female co-workers.
“First wife here… You are a rockstar @anuragkashyap10. Keep empowering women as you do and the safest place you create for all of them. I see it first hand with our daughter,” Bajaj posted on Instagram.
“There is no integrity left and the world is full of losers and no brains baying for blood of anyone who has a voice. If everybody spend that energy which they use in hating others constructively this world will be a better place,” she added.
Calling Ghosh’s allegation the “cheapest” stunt, Bajaj urged Kashyap to keep raising his voice against every wrong. “Cheapest stunt I have seen till now. First it made me angry then I laughed so hard as it cannot come more framed than this. I am sorry that you have to go through this. That’s the level of them. You stay high and keep using your voice. We love you,” she added.
Pannu, who collaborated with Kashyap on the 2018 romantic-drama Manmarziyaan, took to Instagram and wrote that the filmmaker was “the biggest feminist” she knew.
Sinha said the existence of the #MeToo movement is to amplify voices of harassed women and it should not be misused.
It is the joint responsibility of women and men both to carefully protect the sanctity of #Metooindia
It is a very very very important movement that should not be misused for any other reason but the dignity of women. @anuragkashyap72
— Anubhav Sinha (@anubhavsinha) September 20, 2020
Chawla, who worked with the filmmaker on his two-part Netflix series Sacred Games, said the allegation against the director reeked of “opportunism”.
Let them creep
Let them crawl
U my friend
As always stand tall
These false flag bearers of feminism….
They dont honour men like u,
For their lack of knowledge in knowing know who u really are,
And claims they make,that are just so bizarre!@anuragkashyap72
— Surveen (@SurveenChawla) September 20, 2020
In a subsequent tweet, Chawla said Kashyap’s legacy is stronger than the allegation.
“Your life, your work and the women you create with your craft…speak volumes about you. I have the privilege to know the real feminist in you, I take the honour my friend to stand for you! @anuragkashyap72,” she added.
Chopra, who featured alongside Kashyap and Chawla in the short film Chhuri, said the filmmaker was one of the biggest supporters of talent, be it men or women.
To know my friend @anuragkashyap72 is to know generosity, honesty and decency at its core .. even a cursory look at his work reveals his worldview on women .. don’t know a bigger supporter of talent, men or women ..
— Tisca Chopra (@tiscatime) September 20, 2020