In the wake of the controversy that had erupted after actress Tanushree Dutta levelled claims of sexual harassment against Actor Nana Patekar and Director Vivek Agnihotri, claiming that Agnihotri had asked her to strip on a movie set, several allegations and counter-allegations have been doing rounds on social and mainstream media.
Recently, a former associate of Vivek Agnihotri, who claims to have been the assistant director for the movie ‘Chocolate’. Tanushree Dutta had alleged that she was asked to strip during the shooting of one of the songs.
Sattyajit Gazmer, the person who claims to the assistant director during the movie shoot, has shared in a Facebook post that the accusations are untrue and are being misconstrued by the media. He has stated that the song shoot Tanushree refers to was to be shot in several takes under a multi-camera setup. He has added that since Tanushree was new to the field she had difficulties understanding instructions had to take many takes for a scene. She also had the habit of disappearing into her van for a long time.
He adds further that it was the third day of the shoot and the entire staff on the set was hassled due to delays. The song had a dance sequence featuring Tanushree where she had to be wet under a leaking pipe. As the sequence was requiring many takes, Sattyajit claims that he had asked two female assistants to give Tanushree a bathrobe over her costume after every take to keep her warm. He claims that they had also arranged for extra lights so she does not get cold.
He explains further that in a particular scene since it was a multi-camera set-up, the camera has to capture Tanushree dancing from behind and then move to capture another co-star. He adds that since Tanushree still had a bathrobe on for the rehearsal of the steps and did not understand that she was going to be shot in the scene too, the assistants had to ask her to take off the bathrobe. Sattyajit adds further that Tanushree did not understand the instruction and asked why did she have to take off the bathrobe as the camera was capturing the other actor.
Sattyajit adds here that Tanushree had little idea about technicalities of the shooting and they had to explain it to her that the main camera will be shooting her co-actor but other cameras will be on her so she had to take off her bathrobe and dance in the film costume which she was wearing underneath.
Sattyajit explains further that the media has hyped and twisted the facts and Tanushree was never asked to strip, but she was only asked to take off her bathrobe and do the dance steps in her movie costume which she was already wearing. In the Facebook post, he had mentioned that Vivek was always cordial and caring towards Tanushree and during the incident that is being highlighted, almost 200 people, including senior actors, Tanushree’s manager and even Pallavi Joshi, the acclaimed actress and Vivek Agnihotri’s wife, were present on the sets.
He has also added that right after the shooting of the song sequence, the film crew went to London for a 40-day long schedule and Tanushree had gone there with her sister. He also adds that whenever the shooting went till late hours Vivek Agnihotri used to personally make sure that Tanushree is dropped home safely. On one occasion, he adds that he himself and Vivek had kept waiting in the hotel lobby for a whole night as Tanushree had not been back from a party she was attending and her mother was worried. He had also added that on later occasions too, Tanushree had spoken to him and Vivek and had asked them to help her find work.
As per recent developments, both Vivek Agnihotri and Nana Patekar have issued legal notices to Tanushree for defamation. Tanushree has stated to the media that she is anguished and alleged that the teams of both men are actively indulging in a smear campaign against her. Vivek Agnihotri has shared a press release that says Dutta allegations are false and his lawyers have served a legal notice to Dutta for initiation of a defamation suit.
Earlier, a video had surfaced and many celebrities have claimed that goons were called by the producers trying to intimidate Dutta but it was found to be a false claim. Recently, actor Shakti Kapor, who was himself accused of ‘casting couch’ for seeking sexual favours in exchange of work in the film industry, was criticised for ‘mocking’ Tanushree Dutta’s allegations.