What is the sexual harassment case against director Rajkumar Hirani?
What is the sexual harassment case against Rajkumar Hirani?
In an email dated November 3, 2018, a woman accused director Rajkumar Hirani of sexual harassment. The email was addressed to Hirani's frequent collaborator Vidhu Vinod Chopra, his wife Anupama Chopra, scriptwriter Abhijat Joshi, director of Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga Shelly Chopra Dhar, and Vinod Chopra's sister.
The complainant was working as Hirani's assistant for the film Sanju, during which the alleged incident took place. According to the email, the complainant was harassed from March to September 2018.
What Rajkumar Hirani had to say in his defence
"I was completely shocked when these allegations were brought to my notice about two months back. I had suggested immediately that it is essential to take this matter to any committee or legal body. The complainant has chosen to go to the media instead. I want to very strongly state that this is a false, malicious, and a mischievous story being spread with the sole intention of destroying my reputation."
What Anupama Chopra said
Journalist Anupama Chopra, wife of Vidhu Vinod Chopra, reportedly said that she met the complainant twice. On both occasions, she allegedly extended her complete support and suggested that the complainant take the case to a legal body or a neutral party as she felt they cannot be judges on this matter. Chopra reportedly said that they had offered to set up an ICC at VCF, but VCF ICC could not have taken the case as she was an RHF employee.
Allegedly, the complainant stayed at the Chopra house for two days and said that she needed time to think through how she would take it forward. "I did not want in any way to pressurise her or steer her in any direction. As Vinod and I told her then, she has our full support and we are fully respectful of whatever decision she has taken.”
The third installment of the popular Munnabhai series was recently announced. However, after the allegations came to light, the movie was put on hold until the charges against Hirani can be cleared. Hirani’s name has also been removed from the credits of the upcoming film Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga. Ever since the allegations, the relationship between Hirani and Chopra has been strained. The two have collaborated in the past to produce hit films like Munnabhai, PK, and Sanju.