A little known Bollywood actress Payal Ghosh has accused filmmaker Anurag Kashyap of molestation attempt, asking the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for help in a tweet on Saturday September 19.
Recalling an incident when he got naked in front of her and tried to get intimate with her while she was visiting him at his residence, she says she felt very uncomfortable and told the director so to stop him.
@anuragkashyap72 has forced himself on me and extremely badly. @PMOIndia @narendramodi 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! https://t.co/1q6BYsZpyx
— Payal Ghosh (@iampayalghosh) September 19, 2020
In an interview to Indian TV Telugu channel ABN, the actress has claimed the director called her to invite her to his residence after she had visited him in his office but did not get to discuss much during her stay in his office for about 430 minutes.
And when she went to visit him at his place, according to Payal, Anurag cooked for her, even picked up her plate and later took her to another room where he had books, VHS video cassettes and audio cassettes.
According to Payal, he played an adult movie which made her uncomfortable and he unzipped himself making her uncomfortable even further. And when she endeavoured to tell him she was feeling uncomfortable and not “ready” for that, Anurag named actresses he had worked with and told her that they were all okay with it and just a phone call away – to come and have good time with him – suggesting an on-going relationship with them.
Payal suggests Anurag named them in order to make her feel comfortable with his advances suggesting this was normal way to get roles and get ahead in Bollywood.
She says the incident happened in 2014 and she has never met him since that day.
Payal says the incident continues to haunt her.
Direcor Anurag Kashyap has taken to Twitter and claims the allegations against him are baseless.
क्या बात है , इतना समय ले लिया मुझे चुप करवाने की कोशिश में । चलो कोई नहीं ।मुझे चुप कराते कराते इतना झूठ बोल गए की औरत होते हुए दूसरी औरतों को भी संग घसीट लिया। थोड़ी तो मर्यादा रखिए मैडम। बस यही कहूँगा की जो भी आरोप हैं आपके सब बेबुनियाद हैं ।१/४
— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) September 19, 2020
Those non-believers question her silence for six years. She says: “I tried to open up about it several times, but my family and close friends asked me to be silent to avoid any problem in the future. I wanted to talk about it, but I was silenced. We should talk about it so that people like him don’t abuse their position of power.”
Why didn’t she speak up during the #MeToo movement in Mumbai and Bollywood? She says:
“My family, my brother, manager and other people from the industry — all of them asked me to stay quiet if I wanted a career in this industry. ‘Your career will get ruined’, ‘no one will work with you’ were some of the things they said to me.”
Payal says she has chosen to speak now “because it is very important to speak up about these issues, and truth should come forward.”
While on one hand Anurag Kashyap has vehemently denied the allegations as “baseless”, Payal has confirmed she will proceed with an official complaint to the National Commission for Women India so that the incident can be investigated.
Perhaps, it would not be wrong to also criticize the position taken by the family and friends of Payal Ghosh for discouraging her from coming out back in 2014. How can a brother (as Payal claims) tell a sister to keep quiet after such an horrific incident?
Payal Ghosh starred in her only Hindi film – Sanjay Chhel’s 2017 rom-com “Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi”, featuring the late Rishi Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Vir Das and Prem Chopra.