Rajkumar Hirani, director of the Munnabhai series and Aamir Khan movies PK and 3 Idiots, has been accused of sexual harassment by a woman who worked on his most recent movie Sanju.
According to HuffPost, the complainant, in an email addressed to Sanju’s co-producer and Hirani’s long term associate Vidhu Vinod Chopra, said that much of the alleged assault took place during the post-production work of Sanju. The film released in June 2018. She also said that she was sexually abused multiple times over a six-month period between March and September 2018.
According to the woman’s email dated November 3, 2018, Hirani made a suggestive remark and then sexually assaulted her at his home office on April 9, 2018. “I remember forming these words on my lips – “Sir. This is wrong…Because of this power structure. You being the absolute power and me being a mere assistant, a nobody – I will never be able to express myself to you,” wrote the woman. She considered Hirani as a father figure.
“My mind, body and heart were grossly violated that night and for the next 6 months,” she said while talking about the period that followed.
Rajkumar Hirani, responding through his lawyer, denied all the claims. “At the outset, our client states that the allegations made against him are false, mischievous, scandalous, motivated and defamatory,” read his lawyer’s statement.
The woman’s email had been addressed to Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s wife and director of the Mumbai Film Festival (MAMI), Anupama Chopra too. Anupama Chopra said that in the wake of the incident, Vinod Chopra Films had set up a committee to investigate sexual harassment claims.
Another recipient was Abhijath Joshi, Hiran’s writing partner on almost all his films. Joshi in his response said “It’s my duty to listen to the woman patiently. I am here to support her. I’m trying to do the best thing possible. I can assure you that I will do what is ethical.”