Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association on Monday issued a show-cause notice to Sajid Khan after multiple women accused the filmmaker of sexual harassment. The organisation wants the filmmaker to respond to the allegations within a week’s time, failing which action will be taken against him.
The notice issued to the director reads, “We were literally shocked to receive the email complaints of Ms Karishma Upadhyay, an eminent journalist, Ms Rachel White and Ms Simran Suri, both aspiring actors against you for outraging the modesty of the women by abusing your power as director of films Humshakals and Himmatwala.”
“Your lewd and obscene actions have brought disrepute to Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association. We, therefore, want an explanation from you for such offensive behaviour within seven days of the receipt of the notice for further action as per the rules and regulations…In case of no reply, ex-parte decision would be taken,” the notice further added.
Talking to indianexpress.com about Sajid Khan, actor Rachel White had said, “I had met the creepiest man in my entire life! This is not a h***y person, this is not even about sex. He is just sick and a pervert and you can see it on his face.”
Actor Bipasha Basu, who worked with Sajid in Humshakals, told indianexpress.com that the director’s behaviour towards women was “rude”. “He cracked lewd jokes openly and was pretty rude to all girls, (though) he never ever did the same with me. I had sworn never to work in a humiliating environment for women ever again after Humshakals. Everyone knows I dissociated from the film for exactly this reason. I made it loud and clear,” Bipasha said.
Actor Simran Suri, who has also alleged that the filmmaker sexually harassed her, told indianexpress.com that Sajid had asked her to visit his home for a look test, following which he allegedly made untoward advances.
Post the sexual harassment allegations, Sajid Khan issued a statement on Twitter which read, “In the wake of the allegations against me and the pressure being put on my family, my producer and the stars of the film Housefull 4, I must take the moral responsibility of stepping down from my directorial post, till the time I can allay the allegations and prove the truth. I request my friends in the media to kindly not pass judgment till the truth is out.”