In his first public response to Apurva Asrani’s allegations, Simran co-producer Shailesh Singh has asserted that had he wanted to please actor Kangana Ranaut he would have hiked her fee instead of being unfair to the film’s writer. The response appears both direct and defensive.
On Wednesday morning, Apurva took to Facebook to express his displeasure with the fact that Kangana was given the credit of “additional writer” ahead of him on the film’s recently-released poster. Apurva said that what was more upsetting was that the actor, in a recent public interaction, made it look like she developed the film’s script, while it was he who gave more than a year to the story of Simran.
Shailesh has reacted to his accusations, which were also directed at him and director Hansal Mehta. “I have worked with Apurva on two of his biggest films — Shahid and Aligarh. Apurva has a legal document in his possession signed by all parties — Kangana, Hansal, the producers and himself wherein he agrees to the credits given by us,” the producer said.
Shailesh, however, did not respond to Apurva’s allegation that the writer was pressurised by him and Hansal to sign the document as they claimed their film would be stuck if he didn’t do so. “It was only the day after I finished the first cut of the film that Hansal called me to meet. He informed me nervously that Kangana is turning director and therefore has demanded a co writer credit. I naturally had a shit fit and feeling shocked and betrayed, I refused to give in. For 2 months, he and his co producer Shailesh tried to arm twist me into giving her a co writer credit. I finally gave into an additional writing credit, but only because they claimed their film would be stuck if I didn’t do so. But I refused to give her a co writer credit, and we signed a letter where they promised me the same,” this is what Apurva wrote.
Shailesh called Kangana’s name being ahead of Apurva a “printing error” on the current poster of the film, and said it will be rectified in the next poster. “I have conveyed this to Apurva. We could have chatted in person before he took the issue to social media,” he said.
Finally, terming it a publicity stunt by Apurva, Shailesh said, “He seems to be doing this for publicity. If this is about him versus Kangana, I want to clarify that to please an actress; I’d have paid her more. Why be unfair to him? Once the film hits screens, we will release the script online for the world to judge.”
The film releases September 15.