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After Vinta Nanda, Sandhya accuses Alok Nath of harassment

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Mumbai, Oct 10: Actress Sandhya Mridul on Wednesday came out in support of writer-producer Vinta Nanda’s sexual harassment allegation against actor Alok Nath, sharing her own ordeal with him during the shoot of a telefilm in Kodaikanal.

Nanda, a veteran writer-producer of the avant-garde 1990s’ show “Tara” fame, accused actor Alok — known for his “sanskaari” on-screen image — of sexually violating her almost two decades ago.

Sandhya took to Twitter to share her own experience, which left her “disillusioned and unsure” in the industry.

She wrote: “At the very start of my career, I was shooting a telefilm in Kodaikanal. I was the lead. And very excited. Alok Nath was my on-screen father and Reema Lagoo my mother.

“Alok Nath was very impressed with me and called me ‘God’s own child’ and openly praised me every day. I was over the moon. I was a huge fan of this wonderful Babuji. I felt so fortunate happy and confident.”

However, she recalled that one night, Alok got “progressively drunk”.

“And started insisting I sit with him and that I belonged to him and other stuff that I don’t clearly remember but it made me very nervous and uncomfortable. My co-star realised what was happening and got me out of there,” she added.

“We went back to the hotel without dinner. It was late and I was back in my room and the costume dada came to my room to give me my clothes for the next day as I had a very early call time. Few minutes after he left there was a knock on my door I opened the door thinking it was him again.

“It was an inebriated Alok Nath. I instinctively tried to shut the door but he pushed it and lunged at me. I stepped aside, he went flying past me into the room. I fell back toward the bathroom door, he lunged at me again screaming ‘I want you, you’re mine’.”

The actress claims she ultimately had to latch the bathroom door and then ran out of her room down the corridor into the lobby. After she sought help from the show’s director of photography, Sandhya says “what ensued was traumatic because a belligerent Alok Nath refused to leave. He kept screaming, shouting, threatening, abusing, trying to grab me… but at some point we managed to make him leave”.

This, when in a few hours that she had scenes with ‘Bauji’.

“In one, I had to sit on his lap and cry. I still feel nauseous when I think of it,” said Sandhya, adding that Alok continued drinking every evening and would “traumatise” her with calls to her room every night.

One day, she recounted, he said to her that he was an alcoholic and that he had destroyed everything — his family and his marriage.

“I finally broke my silence. I screamed, shouted, cried and it was done. I believed him. I had to.”

Sandhya says she is grateful to her co-actors, the DOP and the late Reema lagoo for taking him on and protecting her.

“But it was too late. The damage was done. A very disillusioned, disgraced and unsure me returned home.”

According to Sandhya, Alok then told people that she “difficult and arrogant.”

“Alok Nath. You know this to be true. As do few others. I had to forgive you for myself then and for my sanity, but I will never forgive you for what you did with Vinta. Whom I have always respected and loved. I stand by you Vinta. What I went through is nothing compared to you.”

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Miss Universe 2018: Philippines bags crown, India fails to make it to Top 20

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Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Elisa Gray

Bangkok, Dec 17: India’s Nehal Chudasama failed to make it to the Top 20 of the Miss Universe 2018 pageant, where Catriona Elisa Gray from Philippines pipped 93 contestants from around the world to emerge the winner — as chosen by an all-women jury.

India had pinned high hopes on Nehal, 22, to end a long drought for the country at the pageant as Lara Dutta had last brought back the crown in 2000.

But South Africa’s Tamaryn Green, a medical student, and Venezuela’s Sthefany Guterrez, studying to be a lawyer, secured the first runner-up and second runner-up spots at the gala ceremony, where Spain’s Angela Ponce made history as the first transgender woman to contend for the title of Miss Universe.

Hosted by Emmy Award-winning Steve Harvey, the show here on Sunday saw Gray taking an ecstatic first walk as Miss Universe in a dazzling red gown with a thigh-high slit. She was crowned by Miss Universe 2017 Demi Leigh Nel-Peters, who comes from South Africa.

Gray holds a Master Certificate in Music Theory. An adventure junkie, she is an HIV/AIDS advocate and volunteers as a Teacher’s Assistant to the students at an NGO according to the official Miss Universe website.

In the final question round, Gray was asked about the most important lesson she has learnt in life and how would she apply it in her time as Miss Universe.

She said: “I work a lot in the slums of Manila and life there is very poor and sad. I have always taught myself to look for the beauty in it, to look for the beauty in the faces of the children, and I would bring this aspect as a Miss Universe to see situations with a silver lining and to asses where I could give something and provide something.

“And if I could also teach people to be grateful, we could have an amazing world where negativity would not brew and foster, and children would have a smile on their face.”

Earlier in the competition, Gray was asked about her views on legalisation of marijuana. She said: “I am all for it being used in medical use but not so much for recreational use, because I think if people were to argue what about cigarettes and alcohol… Well, everything is good, but in moderation.”

The competition began with the Top 20, with five semi-finalists being chosen from each region — The Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific, as well as a Wild Card category.

In a newly formed segment, the contestants were made to make an ‘Opening Statement’, giving out a message for the world.

Then, the contestants were narrowed down to the Top 10, leading to the swimsuit and evening gown rounds. They were further streamlined to the Top 5 and were asked interesting questions ranging from issues like MeToo to immigration.

Singer Ne-Yo lent a musical touch and Ponce took a proud walk down the ramp, winning a standing ovation for representing diversity and inclusion in its true sense.

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All inside pics, videos from Isha Ambani, Anand Piramal Wedding Reception

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ISHA AMBANI RECEPTION

Mumbai, Dec 15: The grand wedding of “Isha Ambani” – daughter of India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani and Nita Ambani was followed by a reception party that was held on December 14. The grand celebrations took place at Jio Gardens in Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai. 

While the entire Ambani family was looking drop-dead gorgeous, beautiful Isha Ambani and handsome Anand Piramal also looked too cute for words with each other.

Isha was dressed in a gold lehenga and hubby Anand was wearing a black bandhgala and these two certainly make the perfect couple.

Just like the other festivities, this one too had Bollywood celebs, cricketers and politicians in attendance.

Check out all the inside pics and videos from the grand Wedding Reception:

Hema Malini, Kartik Aaryan, Sunny Deol, Esha Deol, Riteish Deshmukh, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Dia Mirza, Ekta Kapoor, Zaheer Khan, among others came to congratulate the newlyweds.

Many other celebs like Jeetendra, Tusshar Kapoor, Boman Irani,  Prasoon Joshi, Adnan Sami, Falguni Pathak, also attended the grand Reception.

Politicians from all the national as well as regional parties were in attendance for the wedding reception Jio Gardens.

Kiran Bedi, Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, senior NC leader Farooq Abdullah, Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale, veteran Congress leader and former CM of Madhya Pradesh Digvijaya Singh, junior HRD minister Satya Pal Singh, Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam and Tamil Nadu Deputy CM O. Panneerselvam were present at the reception ceremony.

 

Kapil Sibal

Kapil Sibal

 

Just like the pre-wedding festivities which witnessed a musical performance by Beyonce, the wedding reception also had a music concert organised for Isha and Anand along with the other guests.

Singer Javed Ali was heard crooning his song “Maula” from the movie Delhi 6 and Rekha Bhardwaj gave a mesmerising performance too.

Singer Neeti Mohan was heard singing the songs “Awaara Bhawrein” and “Barso Re”. The one who stole the show was music maestro AR Rahman as he sang his beautiful renditions. Sukhwinder Singh and Udit Narayan also performed at the function.

After the extravagant pre-wedding bash in Udaipur, Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal tied knot at the Ambani residence Antilia in Mumbai on December 12.

Top Indian and international personalities, film and sports icons, business tycoons, political heavyweights, celebrities and a host of others attended the “royal wedding”.

Former President Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, P Chidambaram, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Andhra Pradesh CM N. Chandrababu Naidu came to wish the newlyweds.

Isha Ambani wedding

Other prominent invitees included Bollywood actors like Rajinikanth, Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan, Abhishek and Aishwarya Bachchan, Aamir Khan and Kiran, Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri, Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra and her husband Nick Jonas, Shahid Kapoor with wife Mira Rajput, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh, Hrithik Roshan, Shilpa Shetty , Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Sonam Kapoor with father Anil Kapoor and many more.

Read More: Politicians and Bollywood Celebs attend Isha Ambani, Anand Piramal’s Wedding

Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh were some other celebs at the venue.

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Disney fires ‘Andi Mack’ actor after his arrest on charge of sexual misconduct

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walt disney

Los Angeles, Dec 15: Actor Stoney Westmoreland, a 48-year-old actor who plays the grandfather on Disney Channel sitcom “Andi Mack”, has been fired by the channel following his arrest for allegedly trying to arrange a sexual liaison with a 13-year-old he met online.

“Stoney Westmoreland, an actor working on the series ‘Andi Mack,’ was arrested in Salt Lake City today,” a representative for Disney Channel said in a statement Friday night, reports deadline.com.

“Given the nature of the charges and our responsibility for the welfare of employed minors, we have released him from his recurring role and he will not be returning to work on the series which wraps production on its third season next week,” the statement said.

The age of the alleged victim is the same as the central characters on “Andi Mack” and young actors who play them.

The comedy, created by Terri Minsky, follows 13-year-old Andi Mack and her best friends, Cyrus Goodman and Buffy Driscoll, as they attend middle school.

Westmoreland was arrested on Friday in Utah, where “Andi Mack” films.

According to TV station KSL, court documents state he was arrested for investigation of enticing a minor by Internet or text, a second-degree felony, and four counts of dealing in materials harmful to a minor, a third-degree felony.

An affidavit filed in 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City indicated Westmoreland began communicating online with a user he believed was underage “on an Internet app used for dating and meeting people for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity”.

Police allege Westmoreland asked that person to engage in acts with him and to send nude photographs. Westmoreland also sent pornographic photographs, according to the affidavit.

The Salt Lake City Police Department and FBI Child Exploitation Task Force arrested Westmoreland when he took a ride-sharing service to pick up the person he believed was a teen, the affidavit states.

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