Just when one thought that the #MeToo wave has taken a backseat after Tanushree Dutta, who triggered the movement, returned back to US, came a shocking news! Rajkumar Hirani has been accused of sexual assault by one of his female assistant directors who worked with him on Ranbir Kapoor starrer Sanju. Reportedly, the victim was sexually abused by Hirani for more than a period of six months between March 2018 to September 2018, mostly during the post-production work of Sanju.
Finally, the filmmaker broke his silence on these allegations and issued an official statement. Here's what it read-
'I Was Completely Shocked'
Rajkumar Hirani issued an official statement that read, "I was completely shocked when these allegations were brought to my notice about two months back. I had suggested immediately that it is essential to take this matter to any committee or any legal body. The complainant has chosen to go to the media instead."
The Filmmaker Refuted The Allegations
"I want to very strongly state that this is a false malicious and mischievous story being spread with the sole intention of destroying my reputation," his statement further read.
For The Uninitiated
A Huffington report stated that the woman in her first email dated November 3, 2018, had mentioned that Hirani first made a sexually suggestive remark to her on April 9, 2018 and she was sexually assaulted at his home-cum-office thereafter.
In an email to Vidhu Vinod Chopra and others, she wrote, "I remember forming these words on my lips - "Sir. This is wrong...Because of this power structure. You being the absolute power and me being a mere assistant, a nobody - I will never be able to express myself to you."
She also added, "My mind, body and heart were grossly violated that night and for the next 6 months."
The Complainant Alleged That She Was Intimated By Hirani
The complainant was further quoted as saying, "I had no choice but to be polite to him,It was unbearable but the reason I endured it all, until I couldn't, was because I didn't want my job to be taken away from me, and work to be questioned. Ever.
I was worried that if I left midway, it would be impossible to find another job in this industry if he were to speak badly about my work, Because if Hirani said I wasn't good, everybody would listen. My future would be in jeopardy."
Was This The Reason Why Hirani's Name Is Missing From The New Posters Of 'Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga'?
The new posters of this Sonam Kapoor-Anil Kapoor starrer solely credit Vidhu Vinod Chopra as the co-producer. Reportedly, Chopra's wife Anupama did not respond on being quizzed about why Hirani's name was dropped from the credits.
Munna Bhai 3 On Hold Till Hirani Gets A Clean Chit?
A Mid-day report quoted a source as saying, "In a meeting in late December, it was decided that Fox would pull the plug on Munna Bhai 3 if Hirani was found guilty. The studio stands in solidarity with the survivor.
VVC Films too has taken the matter seriously, and dropped Hirani's name from the promotional material of Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga."
The Decision Will Be Taken After An Investigation
The source further added, "An ICC set up by VVC Films will investigate the matter. Munna Bhai 3, however, by default, is on hold till Hirani gets a clean chit."