Mumbai: Vivek Agnihotri has denied that he has ever asked actress Tanushree Dutta for any improper action after she claimed that the filmmaker wanted her to remove her clothes and dance during the shooting of a song.
Agnihotri’s lawyer Nidhish Mehrotra said: “The allegations levelled against my client Vivek Agnihotri by Tanushree Dutta for misbehaviour and/or harassment are absolutely false, frivolous and vexatious.
“These allegations are deliberate and have been borne with an intent to attract publicity and wreak personal vendetta against my client with mala-fide intentions.”
The lawyer’s statement also added that a legal notice has been served to Tanushree and a defamation suit will be initiated against her and all the news agencies who published the report.
Mehrotra requested all media agencies, their electronic channels and social media handles and the public at large to refrain from reporting on the without proper evidence. “Failing which, we shall be forced to take necessary legal action,” he said.
In an interview in September, the former Miss India Universe accused Agnihotri of misbehaving with her on the sets of a “Chocolate: Deep Dark Secrets” (2005) when he reportedly asked her “Kapde Utaar Ke Nacho”(Remove your clothes and dance).
Sattyajit Gazmer, who was an Assistant Director of “Chocolate…”, has slammed the actress for levelling charges against Agnihotri.
“I am disturbed to read all the stories. Specially, about her shooting in ‘Chocolate…’ where I was directly involved as Associate Director. I ran the sets so I know best what happened.
“I find the entire story wrong and nothing of the sort ever happened. I have nothing to do with any politics and I don’t understand it,” Gazmer wrote on social media.
Discussing the minute-by minute details, Gazmer said: “Tanushree had a bad habit of disappearing in her van and not come out for long time for the reasons best known to her.
“That’s why I didn’t let her go to the van as much as possible. This was the third day of the shoot and we had to clear the set so everyone was in a hurry.
“Tanushree was taking too many takes so the entire AD department was hassled.
“In the song Tanushree was supposed to be wet under a water leakage from a pipe. I appointed two of my lady assistants and lady costume director and her lady assistant to be around Tanu and give her bathrobe immediately after each take to keep her warm besides the hairdresser.
“We also put a multi-light to keep her warm. If she is talking about the wet song then we shot it only for one day at Film City.”
Gazmer said that choreographer-filmmaker Remo D’Souza was the dance director. It was a multiple camera set up and at any time two cameras were rolling.
“I asked to take off her bathrobe and shoot in film costume which she was anyways wearing under the bathrobe. It’s a pink colour dress which anyone can check on you tube. The song was “Bheega bheega sa December hai”.
“In her interview Tanushree and the media has made it sound as if she was asked to strip which is absolutely false. If she was sick then she should have told me.”
He said it is beyond his imagination that anyone can ever ask an actress to strip on a film set where 200 people are standing.
“This incident has no gender bias or any harassment or any bad behaviour. It is not about man vs woman. Everything is not feminism. It’s about work. About how two professionals talk on a film set.
“This is how anyone in this world will shoot and even if these media people are asked to shoot they will also ask the heroine to take off outside clothes and shoot in continuity costume.
“Even if a hero was there same command would be given to him also.”
Gazmer says he doesn’t know what is Tanushree’s ultimate purpose but if she wants “I am willing to sit face to face with her and repeat minute by minute account with her for the media to check.”
“But I must tell all my friends that our media is the worst in the world. It has put a blemish on the film industry, director and the entire honest team without even once caring to confirm.
“I stand with women and #MeToo but please don’t run a media mafia for your own agenda and destroy credibilities of good people for your own selfish political agenda,” he added.