Actor and CPM MLA M Mukesh on Wednesday dismissed allegations that he harassed a casting director during the filming of ‘Kodeeshwaran’ (Millionaire) 19 years ago in Chennai. Speaking to reporters in Thiruvananthapuram, the actor said, “First of all, I’m not able to recollect that incident 19 years ago. I’m very sure I would not have done that (harass the accuser). My behaviour does not allow that. I stayed at the Le Meridien Hotel. It was the first time I had stayed there. I don’t know if the crew of the TV show stay there. I don’t remember seeing her (Tess) there.”
“It must be a misunderstanding. It cannot be me who harrassed her on the phone…It could have been a different ‘Mukesh Kumar’. How would she know it was me on the phone?” the actor added.
As part of the #MeToo movement sweeping India right now, Tess Joseph, a casting director, wrote on Twitter, “I was 20 years old quiz directing #koteeswaran when the mallu host #mukeshkumar called my room multiple times and then changed my room to beside his on the next sch. My then boss @derekobrienmp spoke to me for an hour & got me out on the next flight. 19 yrs on thank you Derek.”
In a statement shared on Twitter, Joseph wrote, “I am watching and hearing my story being politicised. I want to say – this is my story, not your politics. Those marching to Mukesh Kumar’s house and making it political are wrong and I don’t want my story to be used by political parties as fodder for their own agendas.”
Both the BJP and the Congress protested in front of the CPM office after allegations against Mukesh came out in the open. The actor was elected from Kollam constituency in the 2016 Assembly elections. He is also the vice-president of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA).