Days after actor Tanushree Dutta alleged she was harassed by actor Nana Patekar on the set of Horn Ok Please in 2008, Shyni Shetty, an assistant director on the film, has said she saw the actor getting uncomfortable during a song rehearsal with Patekar.
Shyni is now the second eye-witness of the alleged incident. Journalist Janice Sequeira had earlier said that Tanushree walked off to her vanity van after she got visibly uncomfortable with a few steps.
“This was an item song that we were filming in Filmistaan. A little bit of work was pending. For the first two days we didn’t really shoot, so that day we were rehearsing. Generally, when a song is shot, there’s not much to do for the ADs because choreographer can take care of it. We were on set and we were all watching the rehearsals and at one point, I could clearly see that Tanushree was uncomfortable about a certain step or a way a certain step was being rehearsed. It was happening at a little distance from me so I didn’t know what exactly the conversations were but I could tell that she was really uncomfortable,” Shyni told indianexpress.com.
She added that it got discomforting for Tanushree to a point that she walked off to the vanity van, and chatter on the set began about the “heroine not cooperating”.
“There was this chaos on the set and we didn’t know what was happening. People were going in and out. We did see the director and the producer walk in and out of her vanity van. I am not sure if I saw Nana go in her vanity van. But there were conversations on the set and this whole murmur of ‘Something’s not up. Something’s not happening. She is not cooperating.’ Then she came out and went back to the set and we thought now the shooting would begin,” Shyni Shetty said.
“However, at one point she stormed out of the set and locked herself in her vanity van. By this time, there was already a chat among people that something was wrong. My director (Rakesh Sarang) and all other people were talking in Marathi. And people were trying to pacify her, calm her down. And all we knew that she was really upset,” she said.
Shyni further said that as soon as Tanushree got into her car, a group of men attacked the car and broke its window, something that the actor herself and Janice said in their statements.
She said, “Tanushree changed into her regular clothes and got into her car and suddenly you can see that Filmistaan is filled with goons. We had no clue who these people were and where they came from but they were all men. She was trying to get her car out of Filmistaan and it took her 10-15 minutes to get out because they didn’t let her move. They were banging her car. As someone, who saw this unfold, I just realised that something grave had happened.”
Shyni recollected that the crew did not shoot for the next one or two days before Rakhi Sawant replaced Tanushree. “A lot of people are asking me how do you know if Tanushree was uncomfortable? Did she tell you? I want to say that you can tell by looking at a person. I could tell that!”
Slamming all those who have questioned Tanushree for talking about the incident 10 years later, Shyni said that the actor gave interviews after the incident while everyone else went about their lives.
“She was intimidated. The press was on set for a few days when Rakhi stepped in because this had become quite a controversial news. Everyone had something to say. Everyone wanted to label her unprofessional, while she kept giving interviews after interviews saying her side of the story,” Shyni said.
To all those who have raised a doubt about Tanushree’s story, saying how could Nana sexually harass her in front of people on set, Shyni said every woman can differentiate between a good touch from a bad one. “If we don’t come together now, there is never going to be any movement. This will die down. No one’s saying that don’t listen to the other side but when someone says. ‘This happened to me,’ be the one who is ready to listen, to believe.”
Before talking to indianexpress.com, Shyni, earlier in the day, tweeted in support of Tanushree while re-tweeting Janice’s version of the incident.
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