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Rajkumar Hirani Accused of Sexual Assault by Sanju’s Crew Member; Filmmaker Denies Allegations


Rajkumar Hirani, one of India’s biggest filmmakers, celebrated for making family entertainers such as the Munna Bhai films, 3 Idiots, PK and Sanju, has been accused of sexual abuse by a woman assistant who worked with him on the Sanjay Dutt biopic.

According to a report in Huffpost India, Hirani sexually abused the complainant more than once in the six months between March and September 2018 during Sajnu’s post-production. The report also states that the woman informed filmmaker and Hirani’s long-time collaborator Vidhu Vinod Chopra and his wife film critic Anupama Chopra of Hirani’s misconduct via an email on November 3, 2018.

Vinod Chopra’s sister Shelly Chopra, the director of the upcoming Sonam Kapoor-starrer Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga, and Abhijat Joshi, who has written the scripts of several of Hirani’s films, including Sanju, PK and Lage Raho Munna Bhai, were also reportedly marked on the email.

In the email, sharing her ordeal, the complainant wrote, “My mind, body and heart were grossly violated that night (April 9, 2018) and for the next 6 months.”
She told Huffpost India, “I had no choice but to be polite to him. It was unbearable but the reason I endured it all, until I couldn’t, was because I didn’t want my job to be taken away from me, and work to be questioned. Ever.

“I was worried that if I left midway, it would be impossible to find another job in this industry if he were to speak badly about my work. Because if Hirani said I wasn’t good, everybody would listen. My future would be in jeopardy.”

However, Hirani’s lawyer has denied all allegations, calling them “false”, “completely unjustified”, “malicious” and “defamatory”. “I was completely shocked when these allegations were brought to my notice about two months back. I had suggested immediately that it is essential to take this matter to any committee or any legal body. The complainant has chosen to go to the media instead. I want to very strongly state that this is a false malicious and mischievous story being spread with the sole intention of destroying my reputation,” Hirani said in a statement.

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