Nana Patekar, Vivek Agnihotri Slap Legal Notices Against Tanushree Dutta

Dutta has alleged that Patekar and Agnihotri's teams started a smear campaign against her after she spoke out about instances of sexual harassment.

New Delhi: Actor Tanushree Dutta says she was slapped with two legal notices on Thursday – from veteran actor Nana Patekar and filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, respectively.

In a recent TV interview, Dutta alleged Patekar misbehaved with her when the two were shooting a special song for the film Horn Ok Pleassss ten years ago – a claim she reiterated.

Following the resurgence of the controversy, in an interview to a leading daily, she accused Agnihotri of behaving inappropriately with her during the making of the 2005 film Chocolate, which he directed. The film also starred Irrfan Khan, Arshad Warsi, Sunil Shetty and Emraan Hashmi.

“This is the price you pay for speaking out against harassment, humiliation and injustice in India,” Dutta said in a statement. “Both Nana’s and Vivek Agnihotri’s teams are on a smear campaign against me by constructing outright lies and misinformation on social media platforms and other public platforms.”

Also read: From #MeToo to #HerToo: A Feminist Review of 2017

The actor claimed the supporters of Patekar and Agnihotri are “weaving damning allegations” against her.

She alleged threat to her life, saying while the police personnel deployed at her house were on a lunch break, “two unnamed suspicious individuals tried getting into our home uninvited but were stopped just in time”.

“Violent threats are being issued against me by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) party,” she claimed.

On the controversy, which is being touted India’s #MeToo moment, the actor said the age-old apathetic treatment of the survivors has kept the movement away from India.

Also read: Why I Believe Tanushree Dutta and Dr Christine Blasey Ford

Dutta, who is now based in the US, said she stands to lose this new life too if she allowed herself “to get embroiled in the court system of India”.

After the allegations resurfaced against Patekar last week, the veteran actor laughed off her claim, asking what he could do about it. The 67-year-old actor had said he would see if he could take any legal step.

Agnihotri denied allegations of “misbehaviour and/or harassment” levelled by Dutta saying the claims “have been borne with an intent to attract publicity and wreak personal vendetta” against the filmmaker.

Agnihotri’s lawyer Nidhish Mehrotra said the team has sued Dutta on the charge of defamation.

The statement by Agnihotri’s lawyer further said that all the news agencies have engaged in an unethical and immoral conduct to promote sensational journalism without any diligence or proper verification and with the intent of defaming his client.

Dutta has garnered support from many Bollywood celebrities which include names such as Farhan Akhtar, Priyanka Chopra, Twinkle Khanna, Hansal Mehta, Richa Chadha, Anurag Kashyap and Swara Bhaskar, among others.

(With inputs from PTI)