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#MeToo :  Filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani accused of sexual harassment

Another #MeToo allegation came to light accusing noted filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani on Sunday. Hirani, who is known for several mind-boggling blockbuster films like PK, 3 Idiots and Munna Bhai MBBS, has been accused of sexual harassment by a woman, who worked in his last release Sanju.

According to the woman, the Sanju director abused her for more than one occasion between March and September 2018. However, Hirani has categorically denied the allegations with his lawyer Anand Desai terming the contention “false, mischievous, scandalous, motivated and defamatory”.

According to an article published on the HuffPost India, the woman narrated her ordeal through an email dated November 3, 2018. The mail was addressed to Hirani’s long-time business partner and Sanju co-producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra. In her mail to Chopra, the woman, who calls herself an “assistant”, claimed that on April 9, 2018, Hirani first passed a sexually suggestive remark to her and later assaulted her at his home office.

“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’,” HuffPost India quoted her November 3 mail to Chopra.

The woman also dubbed Hirani a “father figure for her”, adding that her “mind, body and heart were grossly violated that night and for the next 6 months”. However, the complainant did not quit her job and maintained a facade of normalcy regarding Hirani’s behaviour as her father was suffering from a terminal illness.

“I had no choice but to be polite to him. It was unbearable but the reason I endured it all until I couldn’t, was because I didn’t want my job to be taken away from me, and work to be questioned,” the email read.

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