A television actor wrote to the Mumbai Police on Sunday claiming that Bollywood film director Subhash Ghai had molested her at his home in Versova in August. Responding to the allegation, Ghai said he would seek legal action. The complaint comes in the wake of the #MeToo movement that has created a storm on social media with several women across film, entertainment and the media industry calling out men for sexually harassing them.
The 26-year-old actor, who features in at least two Hindi television serials, submitted a written complaint at Versova police station early on Sunday morning. In her three-page complaint, she claimed that Ghai, a veteran director, had promised to cast her in his forthcoming film.
The actor stated she had attended a party in July that Ghai had thrown at his home for her birthday. She claimed that he had been “very flirty” at that party.
On August 6, the woman was invited to another party at Ghai’s home where four other people were present, she claimed.
“He asked me to massage his head and shoulders,” the woman claimed in her complaint. She added that even though she did not initially want, she gave in “out of my respect for a 73-year-old man.”
After massaging Ghai for five minutes, the actor claimed that she went into the bathroom to wash her hands when the director followed her, pulled her into a dark room and tried to forcibly kiss her.
The complainant added that she asked Ghai what he was doing, Ghai continued to pull her inside. Even as the shocked actress tried to leave Ghai’s home, the director claimed that he would not launch her in his film unless she stayed the night with him and added that this was her “first test”.
When she eventually managed to escape Ghai’s home, he messaged her, threatening her that she would have no future in the film industry if she spoke up about what happened, the complaint states.
Later on Sunday morning, Ghai tweeted his response to the complaint, “I am surely a great supporter of the me too movement and women empowerment but hope that those taking undue advantage of the movement do not end up diluting it for their own short time fame. I feel grief if some one trying to harm my reputation. Any way my lawyers will take care of matter,” he wrote.
Ravindra Badgujar, senior inspector, Versova police station, said the complaint had been transferred to DN Nagar police station as the alleged offence took place in its jurisdiction.
“The complaint will be inquired into. If we feel that sufficient evidence is gathered, an FIR will be registered,” he said.