Actress Amrita Puri, who was unaware that Farhan Akhtar and Sajid Khan (who was recently implicated in several #MeToo accounts) are cousins, apologised to the singer-actor after he responded to one of her tweets about Mr Khan. On Friday, the Aisha actress called out Sajid Khan as ‘a creep’ on Twitter for his alleged predatory behaviour and said she found it hard believe that Mr Khan’s family was unaware of the hush-hush allegations against him till he was publicly named as an alleged harraser. Meanwhile, Mr Akhtar, who had tweeted to say he was ‘shocked’ and ‘heartbroken’ over the sexual harassment allegations against Sajid Khan, responded with a sharply-worded tweet.
Ms Puri, who is just three-films old in Bollywood, wrote in her tweet that even she was warned about Sajid Khan’s alleged misconduct with colleagues: “It was fairly well known that Sajid is a creep and is completely inappropriate as far as his conduct with women goes. I was warned to stay away from him if I ever came across him. I refuse to believe that it has come as a surprise to people from the industry or his family.” Mr Akhtar tweeted to say that he disagreed with her ‘conspiracy theory.’
— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) October 13, 2018
Ms Puri wrote a note of apology indeed but reiterated that industry members must have known about Sajid Khan’s alleged predatory behaviour.
My tweet was not directed to you. Are you related? Pardon my ignorance. Also it’s not fair to generalise as I did. My apologies. However @SimplySajidK‘s misconducts were fairly well known. I’m surprised that it’s come as a shock.
— Amrita Puri (@_Amrita_Puri) October 13, 2018
In her tweets, Amrita Puri appeared to obliquely point to the statements released by Farhan Akhtar and Sajid Khan’s sister Farah Khan (who is producing Housefull 4) on Friday. As several sexual harassment allegations against Sajid Khan resurfaced, Mr Akhtar wrote the filmmaker has to ‘atone for his alleged actions,’ while Farah Khan said that ‘This is a heartbreaking time for my family.’
I cannot adequately stress how shocked, disappointed and heartbroken I am to read the stories about Sajid’s behaviour.
I don’t know how but he will have to find a way to atone for his alleged actions.
— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) October 12, 2018
This is a heartbreaking time for my family.We have to work through some very difficult issues. If my brother has behaved in this manner he has a lot to atone for.I don’t in any way endorse this behavior and Stand in solidarity with any woman who has been hurt.
— Farah Khan (@TheFarahKhan) October 12, 2018
In the light of the #MeToo allegations, actor Akshay Kumar cancelled the shooting of Housefull 4, following which Sajid Khan resigned as the director. Nana Patekar, whose name has also cropped up as an alleged harasser in claims made by actress Tanushree Dutta, also stepped out of the film citing ‘convenience’. A day after Sajid Khan’s resignation, production house Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment zeroed in on Farhad Samji (who previously directed Housefull 3) as the director.
Earlier this week, Sajid Khan was named and shamed in separate #MeToo accounts by three women. While actress Saloni Chopra accused the filmmaker of harassing her mentally, emotionally and sexually, actress Rachel White alleged Mr Khan asked her to “seduce him in 5 minutes” for a role. Journalist Karishma Upadhyay also claimed that Sajid Khan started an interview with “trash talk” and added he tried to forcibly kiss her when she was trying to exit the room.
Responding to Saloni Chopra’s #MeToo account, Amrita Puri tweeted this:
It takes a lot to do what you have. I am so glad you called out @SimplySajidK and put a stop to his filth. He is a pervert and should not be allowed to work in the film industry again! It’s about time.
— Amrita Puri (@_Amrita_Puri) October 12, 2018
As the #MeToo wave caught up with Bollywood, other celebrities such as Alok Nath, Subhash Ghai, Kailash Kher and Vikas Bahl among others have been named as alleged sexual harassers.
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