One after the other, actresses in Bollywood continue with their horrid experiences from the past. It all started with Tanushree Dutta accusing Nana Patekar of sexual harassment on the sets of a movie when she was working in Bollywood. She had left India and was in the US for many years before she came back to India and dropped this bombshell in the tinsel town. The expose continue to this day.
It is shocking to hear those stories particularly when they come from established actresses – who unlike their predecessors in the past – are prepared to recount their ordeal on camera and in public.
After Surveen Chawla and Vidya Balan came out with their grief, the latest actress who has spoken is Isha Koppikar.
If Surveen’s cleavage and thighs were of interest to some, Vidya Balan was taken to a hotel room where she kept the door open to avoid the nightmare.
Isha said she was put in a casting couch situation by an actor, when she was not just 15 or 16 years old. Isha said that she never ended up working with that actor.
Speaking to Pinkvilla, the actor also revealed that she has been inappropriately touched by ‘top secretaries’. She said, “Some top secretaries have inappropriately touched me. I started self -defence because of that.”
She has a black-belt in Taekwondo.
When Isha was propositioned
She has come out but named the actor, leaving it to people to guess. It is not hard. Isha told Pinkvilla that a superstar asked her to ‘meet him alone’ when she called him for a role.
This is how Isha narrated this particular incident: “Yes, I have been propositioned. One producer told me, ‘This film is happening. Call up this actor, you need to be in the good books of actors. So I called him. He’s told me his full timetable. He’s an early morning person and he goes to the gym at this time. He asked me to meet him in between his dubbing and something he was doing. He asked me who I was coming with and I told him I will be coming with my driver. He said, ‘Don’t come with anybody’. I was not 15 or 16 then. I knew what was happening. So I told him, ‘I am not free tomorrow, I’ll let you know’.
Isha added, “I immediately called up the producer and told him that he should cast me for my talent. But then, I can’t be forced into doing all these things for a role. That is what is intimidating for a lot of people. When a woman says no, they can’t take it. And temporarily, you’re written off. I never ended up working with that actor.”
Isha also spoke about battling rejection and replacements, casting couch and being typecast as the ‘item girl’. In the same interview with Pinkvilla, Isha said, “A lot of times I was about to get a role. But someone would call and their daughter or the starlet would get the film. Or if someone is with someone – whether she is his muse or girlfriend, she has got the role. So I have been hit by nepotism a few times.”
Isha Koppikar began her film career with films down south and transitioned to Bollywood making her debut in Hrithik Roshan’s Fiza. She went on to do some memorable roles in movies like Don, Kya Kool hain Hum, Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat, Qayamat and Company. She took a break from films a few years ago in order to concentrate on being a hotelier and a mother.