The number of #MeToo stories are going up in the country with many women coming out to speak about their experiences of sexual harassment or abuse. Many bigwigs have been named and shamed and they do not belong only to the film industry. The latest story to emerge is from actress Meira Omar, who has accused the founder of Kwan Entertainment, Anirban Das Blah, of sexually harassing her.
Meira Omar, who had a brief role in Wajah Tum Ho, revealed in an interview the ordeal she went through at the hands of Anirban, who recently was in the news for attempting to commit suicide after he came to know that a newspaper was going to carry one his of alleged victim’s story.
In the interview with Times of India, Meira, who was born in Afghanistan and raised in Sweden, said she came to India with dreams of becoming an actress in Bollywood. She said she was on her own and did not know anybody from the film industry, and it was hard for her to find an acting job. She did some research and found out that KWAN was a reputed talent management agency, and with hopes of getting help, she contacted the agency.
“At that time, I wasn’t aware of the rumours about the man heading it. I only knew that he was the boss and I was naive. I reached out to him through Instagram DM (direct message) and was very honest about being new here. I asked him to give me a chance to meet his agency and he enabled the meeting,” she said.
Meira went on the say that the meeting did not appear successful and that she was sad and disappointed about it. She said Anirban contacted her after the meeting with his team to enquire how it went, and she told him what she felt.
“I told him the truth and he replied to me saying, ‘Listen, my team is very basic. They only go for girls similar to the ones who are in the top league today. They don’t know how to spot a star in the making. I am the one who creates stars and sees something when no one else can. This is what I’m known for.’ At this point, I felt encouraged and excited as he was implying that I might have something unique about me,” she recalled.
She said he requested her to meet him privately so that he could evaluate her personally, and asked her to come to his work space as he said meeting in public might give people the wrong idea. She said he specifically mentioned he didn’t want tabloids writing about it.
Meira found out that the work space was actually an apartment in Juhu that he kept for himself, away from his family home in Bandra. She said at the first meeting he spoke about his work and achievements, and told her she would have to surrender to him completely if she wanted his help.
After the first meeting, Anirban gave her assignment, which involved picking out four sexy looks so he could judge her sex appeal. He asked her to bring the the looks to his work space where he could photograph her. She said she felt very uncomfortable and consulted friends and people she knew in the industry, and that was when she heard the stories about how he dealt with women.
“I started realising that he didn’t really care about the assignment. Basically he just wanted me to undress in front of him,” she said.
She said she messaged him that she was not comfortable doing the assignment, but she can show him pictures of her inspirations and what she thinks is desirable and create collages of those. He asked her to come by his place the next day, which she did without sporting any of the looks he had asked. She said she could immediately see a change in his attitude.
When she began talking about the work she had brought along, she said he looked bored and then told her that he was really busy and that she should leave.
“I understood and called for a cab. While waiting, he looked at me and said, ‘F**k, you’re really sexy’, and he leaned over to kiss me. I got scared, but was more scared of pissing him off and making him become aggressive,” she said.
She said when she backed off, he told her that in the industry, she would have to do such things with men and if she cannot handle it, then she should just leave. He told her that he had a happy relationship with his wife, but he loves kissing other women.
She revealed when her cab arrived she got up to leave, but just as she was leaving he grabbed her and forcibly kissed her. She said she was so shocked that she could not feel her legs when she got out.