New Delhi: Actor-model Kate Sharma became the latest to level sexual harassment allegations against Subhash Ghai, saying the filmmaker tried to forcibly kiss her and threatened her career if she spoke up.
In her complaint to the police, Sharma also alleged that Ghai forced her to massage him in the presence of at least five people.
According to a report in NDTV, Sharma alleged that Ghai threatened to cancel her launch if she refused to “stay with him for the night”. “I told him that I wanted to leave but he threatened me and said that he will not launch me if I do not stay with him for the night,” she said.
Responding to the latest allegation against him, Ghai said he was firmly backing #MeToo, but said some people were “diluting it for fame”. “I am surely a grt supporter of d metoo movement n women empowerment bt hope that those taking undue advantage of the movement do not end up diluting it 4their own short time fame. I feel grief if some one trying 2harm my reputation. Any way my lawyers will take care of matter (sic).”
Earlier, a woman, who wished to remain anonymous, had accused Ghai of spiking her drink and sexually assaulting her, a claim the director “strictly and firmly” denied.
The anonymous account shared on Twitter by writer Mahima Kukreja, who was one of the first women to accuse comedian Utsav Chakraborty of sexual harassment last week. Kukreja said the woman is “very credible media/lit personality, who does not want to be named”.
The woman said she had worked with Ghai on a film years ago and he started taking an extra interest in her and would often call her for script sessions at his apartment, which he would allegedly call his “thinking pad”. She claimed that he once forcefully kissed her but tried to pacify her the next day by calling the incident a “lover’s tiff”. She said she told the first assistant director and two other women about the incident but decided to let it go because she had no job or financial security at that time.
She had alleged that after a late music session, he decided to have a drink and offered one to her, which “was spiked” while he was dropping her home in the car. The woman remembers being taken to a hotel room and assaulted before losing consciousness.
Dismissing the charges, Ghai said, “It is sad that it is becoming a fashion to malign anyone known, bringing some stories from past without any truth or blown up false allegations if all. I deny strictly and firmly all false allegations like these.”
The director said he has always been respectful towards women in life as well in workplace. “If she claims this way, she should go to the court of law and prove it. Justice will be done or I will go for defamation certainly,” he added.