Fresh ruckus has been created amid an already chaotic atmosphere in the Indian entertainment industry. In a recent interview with ABN Telugu, actor Payal Ghosh made #MeToo claims against filmmaker Anurag Kashyap and accused him of forcing himself upon her. Payal also alleged that after sexually harassing her, the filmmaker had told her that "it is okay" because other actresses he has worked with like Huma Qureshi (Gangs Of Wasseypur) and Mahie Gill (Dev D) "are just a call away."
Payal then went on posting a tweet tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi where she wrote, “Anurag Kashyap has forced himself on me and extremely badly. Narendra Modi ji, kindly take action and let the country see the demon behind this creative guy. I am aware that it can harm me and my security is at risk. Pls help!”
However, Anurag dismissed all allegations in a series of tweets on Sunday and described it as "an attempt to silence" him. He wrote, "Whether it's my first wife or second, or a girlfriend... or all those actresses who worked with me... or all those female colleagues who have been working with me... I don't indulge in such behaviour in public or otherwise. Neither do I tolerate such behaviour. Rest, whatever happens... let's see. In the video, you can figure how true the allegations are... otherwise, just love and good wishes for you. Apologies for replying to you in Hindi for your accusations in English."
Later on Sunday, Anurag's lawyer released a statement on the case through his Twitter handle. It read, "My client, Anurag Kashyap, has been deeply pained by the false allegations of sexual misconduct that have recently surfaced against him. These allegations are completely false, malicious and dishonest. It is sad that a social movement as important as the #Metoo movement has been co-opted by vested interests and reduced to a mere tool for character assassination."
Now, a number of actresses, as well as Anurag's first and second wife, have spoken up in his defense, vouching that he'd never be involved in something like that. Here's what they have to say:
Anurag's ex-wife Kalki Koechlin took to her social media handles earlier today and hailed him as a champion of women. "ट्रोल्स tho ट्रॉल करेंगें," she wrote in her tweet and then wrote about how she has always seen him conducting himself in both personal and professional spaces. In her tweet, she also talked about how the man kept supporting her and stood for her integrity even after their divorce. "I have been witness to it, in the personal and professional space you have always seen me as your equal, you have stood up for my integrity even after our divorce, and you have supported me when I felt unsafe in a work environment even before we got together," she wrote. Here's her tweet:
ट्रोल्स tho ट्रॉल करेंगें pic.twitter.com/tMl7GlRU6o— Kalki केकला (@kalkikanmani) September 21, 2020
Actor Taapsee Pannu posted a picture with the filmmaker saying that he is a feminist and showed her solidarity with him. She said, "For you, my friend, are the biggest feminist I know. See you on the sets soon of yet another piece of art that shows how powerful and significant women are in the world you create :)"
Here's the post:
Reacting to the #MeToo allegations, actress Radhika Apte also took to her Instagram handle and talked about how she has always felt very secure in Anurag's presence. She wrote "@anuragkashyap10 you have been one of my closest friends, you have inspired me and always supported me. You have always treated me as an equal and I cherish the mutual love and respect we have for each other. I have always felt immensely secure in your presence since the day I’ve known you. You have been and always will be my trusted friend. Love ya."
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@anuragkashyap10 you have been one of my closest friends, you have inspired me and always supported me. You have always treated me as an equal and I cherish the mutual love and respect we have for each other. I have always felt immensely secure in your presence since the day I’ve known you. You have been and always will be my trusted friend. Love ya💙
Not too long after the news about Payal's #MeToo allegations started going viral, Surveen Chawla took to Twitter to support the filmmaker and call out the "false flag bearers of feminism."
She wrote, "Ur life,ur work and the women u create with ur craft...speak volumes about u. I have the privilege to know the real feminist in u, I take the honour my friend to stand for u! @anuragkashyap72."
Let them creep— Surveen (@SurveenChawla) September 20, 2020
Let them crawl
U my friend
As always stand tall
These false flag bearers of feminism....
They dont honour men like u,
For their lack of knowledge in knowing know who u really are,
And claims they make,that are just so bizarre!@anuragkashyap72
Coming in support of her fellow filmmaker, Guneet Monga took to Twitter on Sunday and talked about how she has wholeheartedly supported the #MeToo movement and therefore finds it important to talk about it when she sees that it is getting misused and diluted.
Don’t need Twitter to explain what @anuragkashyap72 means to many of us.— Guneet Monga (@guneetm) September 20, 2020
As a woman, am here to share my journey & definitely here to call out bullshit.
Let’s not ruin an important #Metoo movement for some agendas! pic.twitter.com/VS97NMhmKc
Enraged by her name being dragged in the entire row, actress Richa Chadha has condemned the #MeToo allegations against the filmmaker in an official statement shared by her lawyer. The statement reads: ‘Our Client ‘Ms. Richa Chadha’, condemns the act of her name being unnecessarily and falsely dragged in a derogatory manner into controversies and allegations being recently raised by third parties. Though our Client believes that genuinely wronged women should get justice at all costs, there are legislations that are intended to ensure that women have equal standing in their workplace and to ensure that they have a cordial workplace in which their dignity and self-respect is protected.”
Anurag Kashyap's first wife Aarti Bajaj also took to Instagram to support her ex-husband and asked him not to get deterred by the allegations and keep empowering women as he has always done. "Keep empowering women as you do and the safest place you create for all of them. I see it first hand with our daughter," she wrote.
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First wife here✋🏻.. You are a rockstar @anuragkashyap10. Keep empowering women as you do and the safest place you create for all of them. I see it first hand with our daughter. There is no integrity left and the world is full of losers and no brains baying for blood of anyone who has a voice. If everybody spends the energy which they use in hating others constructively this world will be a better place. Cheapest stunt I have seen till now. First it made me angry then I laughed so hard as it cannot come more framed then this . I am sorry that you have to go through this .That’s the level of them. You stay HIGH and keep using your voice. We love you.
Here's hoping that the truth prevails!
Featured Image: Instagram