Bollywood On A Major #MeToo Roll, Directors Subhas Ghai And Sajid Khan Enter The List

Two new additions to the actively growing list of accused sexual harassers from the film industry - veteran Subhash Ghai and popular Sajid Khan. Women going strong, hail #MeToo. 

Two new additions to the actively growing list of accused sexual harassers from the film industry – veteran Subhash Ghai and popular Sajid Khan. Women going strong, hail #MeToo. 

With more and more women coming out every single day, the #MeToo movement is going very strong in India. Two new names that have been added to the list of sexual harassers are both popular directors from Bollywood – Subhash Ghai and Sajid Khan.

Filmmaker Subhas Ghai who is known for his movies like Karz, Pardes, Taal etc. has been accused of drugging and raping an ex-employee of his.  

This person didn’t want her identity to be revealed due to various personal reasons but wanted the world to know all that she went through in the hands a powerful man from the film industry. Her text messages were shared by writer Mahima Kukreja on Twitter.

This is the sad story that the messages narrated…

“Please don’t put my name as I have no evidence and it happened a long time ago. If my parents get to know they’ll be upset and so will my child.

This happened when I was working with Subhash Ghai on a film. He said he would be my mentor and guide me in the film industry. I listened to because I had no Godfather in the industry and no friends. I was not from Mumbai. But I was hungry to learn and prove to my parents that being a director was my true calling.

In the beginning, he would take me to music recordings and I’d have to sit there till very late at night with other male members. No one did anything in front of him. When recordings finished I took an auto home or he would drop me. He slowly started putting his hand on my thigh, giving me a big hug saying I did good that day.

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Then he’d call me to script sessions at his small apartment in Lokhandwala. This was where he said he’d do script sessions with the actresses. When I went there though there was no one and he was alone in his two-bedroom place. I came to know that this was not the house he stayed with his wife. This was, he said, his thinking pad.

Instead of script session, he started talking about how he was so misunderstood in the industry and only I was the one who loved him. He pretended to weep and put his head on my lap. Then when he was getting up he kissed me forcefully. I was shocked and left that day.

The next day in office he said lovers have tiffs. And I should just get on with work. I had no other job, no financial security, no family. I let go because I was scared and I told only the first AD and my two other girl friends who I don’t want to name, because they have their own cross to bear with him as he tried things with them as well.

One evening after a music session it became late again and he decided to have a drink. He used to love whiskey. His driver Babu used to have a ready stash in the car. No one used to check then. He gave me a drink as well. It was spiked. After that, I remember getting into his car and I thought he was dropping me home. But he made Babu drive to Lonavala.

I was in and out of consciousness but I remember clearly and I swear on my child that I asked him where are we going and please take me home. He took me to Fariyas hotel. He said he went there regularly to write. They always have a suite available for him.

I was wobbly but he held me and took me to the suite. He took off my jeans and he mounted me. I was trying to scream but he put his hand over my mouth. I was also not very lucid because of the drug in my drink.

So, I cried and passed out. Next morning I remember he had ordered some toast and was having breakfast when I woke. The sofas were red and musty. The sunlight streamed in from the windows to my right. I vomited.

He dropped me home. I took a few days off and a person from his team called to say I wouldn’t be paid for the month if I quit now. So I went back to work and gave my resignation a week later.

After that, I’ve never seen him or spoken to him. Once he was shooting somewhere and I was travelling with some friends along the route and we briefly sparred on the sets. The entire crew knew me. But I was so uncomfortable that I left immediately.

These things never go away. But hey it happened to me too.”

This accusation by an anonymous woman claimed to be a very credible media or literature personality by Mahima Kukreja has been strongly denied by Subhas Ghai. He blatantly dismissed the #MeToo movement by saying that it has become a fashion now to bring some old stories from the past without any truth. How insensitive is that?   

Being a Director’s Assistant, not an Assistant Director

In yet another case actress Saloni Chopra who was once an assistant to Sajid Khan has written a long post for a Medium about her sexual and mental harassment by Sajid Khan of the movie Housefull fame.  

As told in her post, Saloni gave an interview to Sajid in 2011 for assisting him in direction. The weird questions she got from him was – ‘Do you masturbate?’ and ‘How many times a week?’ etc. In the end, she was uncomfortable and in tears. But she got the job.     

Being a Director’s Assistant and not an Assistant Director to Sajid’s she had to do his work directly. Slowly, he started calling at very odd hours, that too to ask very personal questions. He had even asked her for her bikini photos. It became an emotional and mental torture. Saloni would cry herself to sleep.    

He would mock her saying that she was unattractive, not at all sexy and would never have a future in the industry. He would also talk about his dick and tell her horrible things about his supposed girlfriend. He just wanted Saloni to do everything he asked her to do.  

Once he even pulled his pants and showed her his dick as he kept yelling that she doesn’t even make him hard! Petrified and disgusted – she left the place. In spite of getting threats to ruin her career, she never went back. It took Saloni years to get over the trauma Sajid put her through.

She is not the only one being harassed by Sajid Khan. There are more and slowly they are all coming out too.

Those is our two ‘great’ movie directors for you folks. Bollywood never fails to entertain us!

Image Source – Bollywood Hungama [CC BY 3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

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Madhura Chandana

Apart from being the Associate Editor at Women's Web, where I get to read, edit and write a lot of interesting articles, my life is simple. It begins at 'M' (Movies) and ends with ' read more...

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