Assistant director Saloni Chopra, actor Rachel White and journalist Karishma Upadhyay have accused the actor-director of sexual harassment on sets.
Three women accuse director Sajid Khan of sexual harassment
Mumbai - 12 Oct 2018 12:06 IST
Updated : 16:49 IST
One of the prominent personalities from in the Hindi film industry to be accused of sexual harassment is director Sajid Khan. Khan has been accused of inappropriate and lewd behaviour by three different women — assistant director Saloni Chopra, actress Rachel White, and a journalist Karishma Upadhyay.
The salvo began with Chopra writing a longform essay on her experience and struggles while working with Khan. The assistant director also accused actor Zain Durrani of physical assault while they were in a relationship, and director Vikas Bahl making sexist comments.
I finally decided to share my story with you. Writing this was like re-living all that horrible past I’d chosen to let go of, but I knew if I don’t today, I may never. So here’s #metoo #MetooIndia https://t.co/brouTYIBC7— Saloni Chopra (@redheadchopra) October 11, 2018
Chopra recollected that her first interactions with Khan dates back to 2011, when she had newly arrived in India, and went for an interview with the director. She wrote in her article that Khan asked her inappropriate questions about her sexual preferences and habits. "Of course he went into a philosophical rant about our human bodies and it’s desires and how sorry he felt for people who had to go through abuse (not the only man who’s said this shit before they take advantage of you, it’s quite common) by the end of the interview I was in tears, and I wasn’t entirely sure why," Chopra wrote.
She added that the abuse kept escalating from late night phone calls to verbal abuse on sets. Chopra revealed that at one point, "...he pulled his pants down and showed me his d**k as he kept yelling ‘see? You don’t even make me hard!’"
The statement, while shocking, was supported soon after by actress Rachel White. White replied to Chopra's tweet saying that during the shoot for Humshakals (2014), Khan had called her to his residence and asked White to strip on the pretext that the role required her to be in a bikini.
I believe you @redheadchopra I was sent by my agency then to meet Sajid Khan during Humshakals. Right after my agency told me about the meeting Sajid called me within the next 5 mins and said the meeting would be at his house opp iskon Juhu.— Rachel White (@whitespeaking) October 11, 2018
I stood like an idiot in one corner of the bedroom wondering where to sit and he was on one side on the treadmill. I clearly rem this episode. When he saw me walk in he goes “pls come this side” all smiling . I walk up towards the treadmill . He was directly staring down at me— Rachel White (@whitespeaking) October 11, 2018
I was in a white vest and blue denims and still felt I was standing nude with that gaze. What happens next is that he finishes his cardio and walks up to me asking me about my boobs and making that kind of conversation. I didn’t bother to answer to anything.— Rachel White (@whitespeaking) October 11, 2018
"I was in a white vest and blue denims and still felt I was standing nude with that gaze. What happens next is that he finishes his cardio and walks up to me asking me about my b**bs and making that kind of conversation. I didn’t bother to answer to anything," wrote White.
Following Chopra and White's revelations, journalist Karishma Upadhyay also took to Twitter to reveal that she was harassed by Khan during an interview in the early 2000s. "The first time I interviewed Sajid Khan in the early 2000s, he called me to the house he shared w/ [with] his sister. Thru [Through] the interview he talked about how large his penis is & how he knew how to satisfy a woman," wrote Upadhyay.
The journalist has also accused Khan of physically violating her during her first interaction with him.
Khan is the latest name to be called out for sexual harassment and misbheaviour in a growing list of members from the Hindi film industry.
Incidentally, Sajid Khan was recently shooting for Housefull 4 alongside Nana Patekar, who has been accused in a similar incident by Tanushree Dutta.
Read Saloni Chopra's full article here.