#MeToo Returns To Haunt Bollywood: PK, Sanju Director Rajkumar Hirani Accused Of Sexual Assault On Film Set

#MeToo Returns To Haunt Bollywood: PK, Sanju Director Rajkumar Hirani Accused Of Sexual Assault On Film Set Rajkumar Hirani along with Vidhu Vinod Chopra. (Photo by Mujeeb Faruqui/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Bollywood has again been rocked by a #MeToo racket with filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani having been accused of sexually assaulting a woman between March and September last year, Indian Express reports. The report says that the victim had worked with the director on Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Sanjay Dutt’s biopic ‘Sanju’.

The allegations mean that the filmmaker joins a long list of names called out in the #MeToo movement which has shook the Bollywood film industry.

According to the report, the allegation was made via an e-mail dated 3 November 2018. The e-mail was addressed to producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra, a regular collaborator with Hirani, with film critic Anupama Chopra, Vinod’s sister Shelly Chopra and screenwriter Abhijat Joshi marked on it.

According to the woman, Hirani made a sexually suggestive remark on 9 April 2019, after which he assaulted her. The e-mail read, “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.” The e-mail adds, “My mind, body and heart were grossly violated that night and for the next 6 months”.

The director of ‘Sanju’, ‘PK’, ‘3 Idiots’ and ‘Munna Bhai’ movies has responded to the allegations made against him. In a statement, Hirani said, “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 legal body.”

He adds that the complainant preferred the media instead of a statutory body while adding that the statements are “false malicious and mischievous story being spread” to destroy his reputation.