Rumours We Heard about Bollywood Are Turning True. Mahima Chaudhary Opens Up about “Bully” Subhash Ghai


Rumours We Heard about Bollywood Are Turning True. Mahima Chaudhary Opens Up about “Bully” Subhash Ghai

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

In the aftermath of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, conversation about insiders vs outsiders, power centers and favouritism in Bollywood has made it to the mainstream. In a new revelation, Mahima Chaudhary of Pardes fame has alleged that director Subhash Ghai “bullied” her and asked producers to not work with her.

In an interview to Bollywood Hungama, Chaudhary stated that the filmmaker had spread false information that he had stated an exclusive contract with the actress and anyone who wanted to work with her, had to contact him first.

“I was bullied by Mr. Subhash Ghai. He even took me to the court and wanted me to cancel my first show. It was quite stressful. He sent a message to all the producers that nobody should work with me! If you pick up one of the issues of Trade Guide magazine in 1998 or 1999, there was an ad that he had given which stated that if anybody wanted to work with me, that person would have to contact him. Otherwise, it would be a breach of contract. However, there was no such contract which said that I had to seek his permission,” she said.

Mahima Chaudhary said she lost an opportunity to work in Satya because of these false reports. “Ram Gopal Varma had signed me for Satya and two days before the shoot, I was dropped out of the film! That was supposed to be my second film. I had taken the signing amount. He didn’t even have the decency to call me or my manager and inform me about the reality. I learnt from the press that he had begun shooting without me. I had already given interviews stating that I would be shooting for Satya in a week. I and Ram Gopal Varma had even discussed the look.” RGV then cast Urmila Matodnkar in the 1998 underworld saga, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Chaudhary claimed that only four people stood by her during these difficult times, and they were Salman Khan, Sanjay Dutt, David Dhawan, and Rajkumar Santoshi.

Responding to the allegations, filmmakers Shubash Ghai said he was “amused” on reading this news. In a statement, he said “Yes , there was a small conflict in 1997 post the release of Pardes , which became a big blockbuster and for which she even got the Filmfare award for best actor. My company did send her a show cause notice for flouting a clause in our agreement. Media and industry reacted in a big way and so I withdrew and canceled her contract with Mukta. After three years she came to me with her family and apologised for her impulsive reaction. I forgave her and thereafter we became friends again.”

Ghai further added, “She is a jovial good person I trust. She must be right in feeling that she was bullied when asked by someone. Actually I admire her great gesture when she did a guest appearance in a song in my last film Kanchi in 2015. I guess we do get entertained with the smallest of an old tiff which is normal in course of life in showbiz (sic).”

Bollywood clearly has a bullying problem, and all it’s dirty dark secrets are being exposed. Will it take things in its stride and change for the better? No one really knows.