06:18 GMT25 October 2020
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    When the #MeToo movement had gained momentum in Bollywood in 2018, it brought many celebs under the spotlight, including actor Nana Patekar, filmmakers Vikas Bahl and Sajid Khan, singer Anu Malik and many others. With Anurag being accused of sexual assault, the issue is getting new attention.

    A new storm of controversy has triggered a second wave of the #MeToo movement, and appears to have gripped Bollywood days after actress Payal Ghosh accused Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap of sexual assault six years ago and also dragged names of some other celebrities into the controversy.

    Model-turned-actress Payal Ghosh is known to have worked in many South Indian films including the Telugu-language movie 'Pranayam' (2009) and 'Mr. Rascal' (2011). She has also acted in South Indian film 'Oosaravelli' (2011) starring NTR Junior.

    On 19 September, Payal took to Twitter, tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and appealed to him to take action against the director who had forced himself upon her when she was seeking a film job in 2014.

    ​On Sunday, while giving an interview to various media channels, Payal took the name of Bollywood actress Richa Chadha, Huma Qureshi, and Mahie Gill about whom Anurag had allegedly said they have been “just a call away”.

    Recalling the incident, Payal also shared, “When I went to meet him for the second time, he took me to another room full of cassettes. He started talking obscenely. He said that Richa Chadha, Huma Qureshi and Mahie Gill are ready to come to me at just one call. I said that I’m not comfortable and escaped from the place. I didn't meet him ever after that incident."

    ​​Shocked by her name being dragged in the controversy, actress Richa Chadha has hit back with an official statement via her attorney “for dragging her name in a defamatory manner”.

    Richa, who worked with Anurag in his film “Gangs of Wasseypur”, in her statement issued on Monday, said: “No woman should misuse their liberties to harass other women with unsubstantiated or non-existent, false and baseless allegations. Our Client has initiated appropriate legal action and shall further pursue her legal rights and remedies in law as may be advised in her best interest.”

    ​Rejecting all allegations as ‘baseless’, Anurag in a statement on Sunday said the accusations 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,” his statement added.

    ​Breaking her silence after six years, Payal said that she was triggered after watching Anurag’s recent interview online and decided to expose the mask he was donning in the public. “I tried to open up about it several times, but my family and close friends asked me to be silent as it might ruin my career. I was silenced."

    National Commission for Women

    Payal has, meanwhile, found support in Rekha Sharma, the chairperson of the National Commission for Women, who has taken cognisance of the allegations, and has asked Payal to file a detailed complaint, following which a police complaint can be made.

    Bollywood Reacts:

    The #MeToo allegation against filmmaker Anurag has triggered a strong response from celebs.

    While many celebs have extended their support to Anurag Kashyap, actress Kangana Ranaut has taken the side of Payal, leaving the industry and twitterati divided.

    Actress Taapsee Pannu faced a backlash and called out “hypocrite” after she posted a picture of her with Anurag and referred to him as the "biggest feminist". 

    Anurag’s first wife Aarti Bajaj, too, came out in his support and called it “cheapest stunt”. 

     

    His second wife Kalki Koechin defended him and said, “You’ve 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.”

    ​Kangana slammed Anurag and his supporters by saying that “What Anurag did to Payal is a common practice in 'Bullywood,' treating struggling outsider girls like sex workers comes naturally to them.”

    In a series of tweets, she said that “'Bullywood' is full of sexual predators.”

    ​Calling #MeToo “a big failure” in Bollywood, she added, “Most rapists and harassers were liberals only so they killed the movement, for sure Payal Ghosh will be humiliated and silenced like all other victims but my heart goes out to her. We deserve a better society.”

    ​I far as I know Anurag self admittedly has never been monogamous even when he was married to various people, what Anurag did to Payal is a common practice in Bullywood, treating struggling outsider girls like sex workers comes naturally to them #AnuragKashyap #PayalGhosh https://t.co/d07hF40FIe

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    #ArrestSajidKhan Trends as Actor-Filmmaker Faces Fresh Sexual Harassment Charge
    Tags:
    Sexual Harassment, celebrity, Bollywood, sexual assault, MeToo, MeToo
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