Sajid Khan, the director of Housefull and Heyy Babyy has been accused of sexual assault and harassment by a number of actresses in Bollywood. It began with Saloni Chopra writing an article on her blog in light of the #MeTooIndia movement, where she spoke up about an incident from when she was his assistant director.
Saloni Chopra shared her story via an article on her blog, Medium saying, "It took me years to get over the trauma he put me through. I was so scared around the people I worked with. And I’m sure he’s done this to so many other girls, I just want them to know they’re not alone. It’s been 7 years, and it’s about time I said it out loud."
She went on to share that, "He said he wants me to do everything he tells me to. Stay with him. Maybe he’ll ask me to touch myself in front of him, maybe he’ll want to record it. He’ll do things to me and give me orgasm and teach me the art of sex but maybe he won’t actually put his dick inside me. Maybe he will. But it would be up to him what he wanted and if I thought casting couch was just about a one time sex then I was foolish. No one would cast me unless I was ready to be their ‘keep’."
You can read her entire article here.
After Saloni spoke up about his behaviour, many women responded to her Twitter thread and shared their experiences with Sajid Khan as well. Including actress, Rachel White who met the director for an audition.
A journalist, Karishma Upadhyay also responded, recalling an incident where she interviewed Sajid Khan and his sister, Farah Khan.
Aahana Kumra, the actress who was seen in Lipstick Under My Burkha spoke in a recent interview with a leading newspaper about being made uncomfortable by Sajid Khan.
"I met him and he did the same thing that Saloni has written about him. Same drill - you go to his house, you are escorted to his room which is pretty dark. He makes you watch what he's watching," "He did not make a pass at me but he wanted to get to know me. When I asked him why can't we sit outside, he said that his mother was sitting there so why trouble her. I asked him to switch on the lights of the room, which he did," she said.
Aahana said that she was aware of his 'shady' reputation and he said some things to her that can't be repeated. "I told him my mom's a police officer, which I think made him behave," she also said. She recalled - "Sajid Khan once messaged me, 'Oh, you can look hot in a bikini also!'"
After the allegations came out in the open, Sajid Khan issued a statement to the Indian Film & Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA's) legal notice about him causing embarrassment to the film body. He stated, "I apologise to IFTDA if any embarrassment has been caused to the association by the alleged accusation against me. These allegations have not only caused irreparable harm to my career but more importantly, grieved my mother and sister immensely. At the outset, I deny the complaints levelled against me as stated in your notice. I humbly request you to not to form any one-sided judgement. I am always happy to extend any cooperation to my association."
Plenty of people from the Bollywood industry have taken these allegations seriously, the most notable reaction coming from Akshay Kumar. Akshay cancelled the shoot for Housefull 4 (which was being directed by Sajid) until further investigations had been made.
Featured Image - DNA
This Diwali, surprise your friends and family with the *sweetest* gifts! Check out POPxo Shop's new Diwali range of scented candles, flavoured dry fruits and roasted makhanas. Use coupon code POPXOFIRST to get 25% off. Online shopping for women never looked better!