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First time in 20 years, I am feeling fearless: Vinta Nanda

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Vinta Nanda

Mumbai, Oct 9 (IANS) Writer-producer Vinta Nanda, who has made allegation of sexual assault against Alok Nath, on Tuesday said that for the first time after 20 years she is feeling fearless to talk about the incident.

Vinta Nanda was interacting with the media here.

With the #MeToo movement gaining momentum in India in the past few weeks, a new case emerged late on Monday evening. In a chilling post, television producer-director Vinta Nanda accused actor Alok Nath of sexually assaulting her when she was the producer of popular 1990s show “Tara” (Zee TV channel), which had the actor in lead role.

Alok Nath, known as the “sanskaari bapuji” from family dramas, reacted on the incident, saying he “neither denies nor agrees” with Vinta Nanda’s allegations and that “only what a woman says will be considered”.

When asked Nanda to comment on Nath’s stand on the issue, she said: “He is obviously disempowered. You need guts to come out and say yes to what had happened and seek apology for it. He didn’t deny even in 2003-2005 when I talked and wrote about it in the media, so he is not in a position to deny my claims even today. For the first time in 20 years, I am feeling fearless because I have spoken out which I had to.”

When asked whether she approached the media and the TV channel concerned when the incident happened with her, Nanda said: “That wasn’t the time… When I opened my mouth, so many cameras and so much press wasn’t around me. When I spoke then, not a single person asked me whether it had really happened. It was all brushed under the carpet…

“Everybody in the channel also knew about it and the press had reported the incident due to which he was thrown out of the serial. If you go back to the archives, you will see all those reports.”

Responding to whether #MeToo storm in India is a positive step towards getting justice, she said: “When I was posting my experience on Facebook, I didn’t have any idea that it would become such a huge issue, because every other day, I post something or the other there. My intention was to let it out of my chest.

“I feel the movement which is happening now is very motivating and encouraging. That is the reason why I have came up with this horrible experience again, because I knew that what didn’t happened earlier despite speaking about it will happen now. Within one hour of putting up the post, it went viral and I started getting support which I am very grateful for, because without that support, one wouldn’t get confidence to speak before the media about such issues.”

She said she is not afraid of anything after speaking the truth.

“I am over 50 now. I don’t think if I go out, people will harm me, so I am not afraid or ashamed. The man who has done it to me is the one who should feel ashamed. I am speaking here because he should be shamed as he has lived for so many years believing that he has got away with it.”

Talking about taking a legal recourse on issue, Nanda said: “I have spoken whatever I felt like and there will be ramifications of it. I have to take this to a logical end whether I like it or I don’t. I haven’t planned what is going to happen but I truly feel that perpetrator should be punished in every case. I think #MeToo movement has just started here and it will give strength to our future generations.”

The #MeToo movement exploded in the country after Tanushree Dutta renewed a decade-old complaint of harassment against Nana Patekar two weeks ago. Filmmaker Vikas Bahl, singer Kailash Kher and actor Rajat Kapoor have also been named as alleged predators.

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Actress Alaya F on how lockdown provided ‘a great learning curve’

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Alaya F

Mumbai, Sep 22 : Actress Alaya F. is having fun being a force unto herself, as she continues to work from home.

From styling her shoots, taking virtual dance classes, bettering her craft and watching documentaries to understand the nuances of different characters and creating her digital series, Alaya has been occupied these past months.

“I had certain work commitments to fulfill even during lockdown. As actors, our nature of work requires us to be in front of camera and usually we have a whole team of professionals to make us look our best. But due to the lockdown and the safety guidelines that were put in place, it became difficult to have a team so I had to get creative and do my own hair and make-up and even styling for shoots. I even did a cover shoot by myself at home,” said the young actress.

“On social media I have to stay active and I also have brand commitments so for everything on my social media, not only hair and make-up and styling is done by me, but also the creating video concepts, shooting them and editing them, it’s all done by me. Everything now takes five times the work it would have taken but it’s been a great learning curve. It’s given me the chance to experiment and go out of my comfort zone in a lot of ways. It also always kept me occupied and busy and overall I must say, it’s been a lot of fun,” she added.

Alaya made her Bollywood debut with “Jawaani Jaaneman” earlier this year.

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Payal Ghosh on why she named Huma Qureshi, Mahie Gill in MeToo charge against Anurag Kashyap

Actor Huma Qureshi, breaking her silence on the allegations of sexual assault made against her ‘dear friend’ Anurag Kashyap, has said that she is furious at her name being dragged into the ‘mess’.

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Payal Ghosh Huma Qureshi Anurag Kashyap MeeToo

Actor Huma Qureshi, who worked with Anurag Kashyap on Gangs of Wasseypur, has said that she is furious at her name being dragged into accusations of sexual misconduct made against the filmmaker, by an actor named Payal Ghosh.

Huma took to Twitter on Tuesday to share her statement, in which she emphasised on the need to uphold the sanctity of the Me Too movement. She wrote, “Anurag and I last worked together in 2012-13 and he is a dear friend and an extremely talented director. In my personal experience and to my knowledge he has neither misbehaved with me or anyone else. However, anyone who claims to be abused must report it to the authorities , the police and the judiciary.”

She continued, “I chose not to comment till now because I don’t believe in social media fights and media trials. I feel really angry at being dragged into this mess. I feel angry not just for myself but also every woman whose years of hard work and struggle gets reduced to such baseless conjecture and allegations in their workplace. Please let’s refrain from this narrative. It is the joint responsibility of women and men both to carefully protect the sanctity of #MeToo. This is my final response. Please do not approach me to make any more statements on this matter.”

On Saturday, Payal took to Twitter, and tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi, wrote, “Anurag Kashyap has forced himself on me and extremely badly. Narendra Modi ji, kindly take action and let the country see the demon behind this creative guy. I am aware that it can harm me and my security is at risk. Pls help!” Payal, in an interview to Bollywood Hungama, claimed that he told her that female actors such as Richa Chaddha, Mahie Gill and Huma would perform sexual favours for him and he expected the same from her.

Anurag’s lawyer issued a statement denying the allegations. The statement read: ‘My client, Anurag Kashyap, has been deeply pained by the false allegations of sexual misconduct that have recently surfaced against him. These allegations are completely false, malicious and dishonest. It is sad that a social movement as important as the #metoo movement has been co-opted by vested interests and reduced to a mere tool for character assassination. Fictitious allegations of this nature seriously undermine the movement and seek to unconscionably trade upon the pain and trauma of actual victims of sexual harassment and abuse. My client has been advised about his rights and remedies in law and intends to pursue them to the fullest extent – Priyanka Khimani.”

Several film personalities, including Mahie, who also worked with Anurag on Gangs of Wasseypur, have provided testimonials for Anurag. Kangana Ranaut, however, has voiced her support for the accuser.

Both of Anurag’s ex-wives — film editor Aarti Bajaj and actor Kalki Koechlin — have slammed the allegations, and have hailed Anurag as a champion of women both on and off the screen. “Dear Anurag,” Kalki wrote in a statement. “Don’t let this social media circus get to you, you have fought for the freedom of women in your scripts, you’ve defended their integrity in your professional space as well as in your personal life. I have been witness to it, in the personal and professional space you have always seen me as your equal, you have stood up for my integrity even after our divorce, and you have supported me when I felt unsafe in a work environment even before we got together.”

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Rhea’s judicial custody extended till Oct 6

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Rhea Chakraborty

Actor-model Rhea Chakraborty will remain in jail with a Mumbai court on Tuesday extending her judicial custody by another fortnight.

Couple of weeks ago, Rhea was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) for allegedly sourcing and purchasing drugs for her live-in partner and actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

The 28-year-old actor was produced before the Magistrate’s court through video-conference from the Byculla Women’s Prison, on expiry of her judicial remand.

Meanwhile, Rhea and her brother Showik moved the Bombay High Court for bail. Rhea and Showik’s counsel Satish Maneshinde said that the bail plea would be heard on Wednesday

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