The #MeToo movement in India is not proving to be a deterrent for molesters and harassers in the film industry. Despite many bigwigs having been named and shamed there are still incidences where a woman is facing abuse of some sort. The latest news to come out is from a female dancer on the sets of movie Housefull 4. She claims that she was molested by two men and that actors Akshay Kumar and Riteish Deshmukh were present when the incident took place at Chitrakoot studio.
The woman has filed a complaint against her molesters and even said that Akshay had asked her to complain to the police. In a statement, the woman said that she was sitting with a colleague when two men, Pawan Shetty and Sagar, tried to drag her colleague away forcefully. She said when she objected and tried to stop them, Pawan threatened her and while pushing her touched her private parts too.
Housefull 4 has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons, first with veteran actor Nana Patekar being accused by actress Tanushree Dutta of sexual harassment, and then Sajid Khan being accused of the same by a number of women.
On the recent incident, Bollywood Life said the makers of Housefull 4 released a statement saying that though the incident was disheartening, it was not related to the film shoot and was a personal matter.
“It is disheartening to hear about this incident. As an Executive producer, I would like to clarify that the recent incident that showed up in the news related to the sets of Housefull 4, is something that evidently didn’t happen on the sets or during the shoot; it took place off the sets and hence I have to state that it is beyond our capabilities,” executive producer Manoj Mitra said.
“I would also like to clarify that Akshay Kumar and Riteish Deshmukh had packed up way before this incident occurred. It was their personal matter and nothing related to our film shoot,” he added.
Raman Dave, who is the head of the dancers, explained that the incident started between some boys post pack up outside the sets and that the girl had tried to stop the fight but unfortunately as it was a heated argument she got pushed during the course of the fight.
“We have learned that the argument was between the dancers and Pawan Shetty (who is an outsider) and nothing to do with our film. I had left from shoot but my set attendant Sandra was there on the set and even she has mentioned that nothing happened on the set. All the details reported about this incident failed to be true and it did not happen on our sets,” he stated.
Housefull 4 is an upcoming comedy film directed by Farhad Samji, and produced by Sajid Nadiadwala under the banner of Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment. The movie stars Akshay, Kriti Sanon, Riteish, Kriti Kharbanda, Bobby Deol, Pooja Hegde, Chunky Pandey, Boman Irani, Johnny Lever and Sharad Kelkar.