By Arré Bench Sep. 21, 2020
After actress Payal Ghosh alleged that Anurag Kashyap “forced himself” on her, women from the industry have come out in support of the director. Taapsee Pannu called him “the biggest feminist I know”. While this is the first #MeToo allegation against Kashyap, he was silent about the harassment a colleague faced years ago.
This weekend, another #MeToo allegation of sexual harassment in Bollywood emerged, this time from actress Payal Ghosh against director Anurag Kashyap. In a video interview to a news channel, and a tweet where she tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ghosh claimed that Kashyap had “forced himself” on her.
@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
Kashyap was quick to deny the allegation, calling it “baseless” and releasing a statement through his lawyer. “It is sad that a social movement as important as the #metoo movement has been co-opted by vested interests and reduced to a mere tool for character assassination,” it read.
— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) September 20, 2020
In addition to Kashyap’s lawyer releasing a statement, actress Richa Chadha also started legal proceedings, after Ghosh named Chadha in her video interview. Chadha’s lawyer issued a statement that said, “No woman should misuse their liberties to harass other women with unsubstantiated or non-existent, false and baseless allegations.”
— TheRichaChadha (@RichaChadha) September 20, 2020
The allegations against Kashyap will be investigated but meanwhile Ghosh has been called out for naming Chadha, Huma Qureshi and Mahie Gill.
Why did this woman need to drag the names of three other women and character assassinate them to prove that she was sexually assaulted? Even by keeping their names out, AK's alleged harassment would have been as clear. (3/6)
— Anya Shankar (@AnyaShankar) September 20, 2020
— Swati Chaturvedi (@bainjal) September 21, 2020
Even as the people named in Ghosh’s account come forward to deny her version of events, many have also spoken up in support of Kashyap, including both his former wives. Kashyap’s first wife, Aarti Bajaj, wrote “Keep empowering women as you do and the safest place you create for all of them. I see it first hand with our daughter.”