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Sorry from bottom of my heart: Rajat Kapoor after being accused of sexual harassment

Deccan Chronicle 2018-10-08 13:11:00

Mumbai: Actor-director Rajat Kapoor has said he has tried to be a "good human being" all his life and apologised from the "bottom of his heart", after a woman journalist and an assistant director accused him of "lewd" and unprofessional behaviour.

Kapoor tweeted his apology on Sunday after a woman journalist gave a detailed account of how he made her feel uncomfortable when she interviewed him in 2007, the latest expose in what is being called India's #MeToo movement.


 

Kapoor took to the microblogging site to issue an apology, saying he has tried to be a decent man all his life. "If however, I have slipped and through my actions or words caused pain or hurt or trauma to absolutely anybody, please accept my
apology."

"I am sorry from the bottom of my heart - and sad that I was the cause of this hurt to another human being. If there is one thing more important to me than even my work, it is to be a good human being. And I have tried to be that person. And now, I will try harder," added the director of critically acclaimed films such as ‘Aankhon Dekhi’."

All my life I have tried to be a decent man, to do the right thing.
If however, I have slipped and through my actions or words
caused pain or hurt or trauma to absolutely anybody, please accept my
apology.

— Rajat Kapoor (@mrrajatkapoor) October 7, 2018

I am sorry from the bottom of my heart- and sad that I was the cause of this hurt
to another human being.

If there is one thing more important to me than even my work,
it is to be a good human being.
And I have tried to be that person.
And now, I will try harder.

— Rajat Kapoor (@mrrajatkapoor) October 7, 2018

The journalist shared her story with a fellow journalist, who put out screenshots of their conversation on Twitter.

The woman, who requested anonymity, said Kapoor used to ask her if she is “as sexy as (she) sounds" and also say, "Tell me your vital stats.". She was "stunned" but let it pass.

She said she ended the interview after "this line of questioning and creepiness continued, wondering just how creepy would he be in person".

Though her editor gave her the option of not filing the interview, she filed it, the journalist said. In hindsight, she said she regrets going ahead with it and should have reported the incident.

By not doing so, she may have encouraged the director's "sense of entitlement that he can behave unprofessionally and in a lewd manner and get away with it - even with a journalist", she said.

The assistant director spoke about how he kept calling her from Saurabh Shukla’s phone to look for ‘empty houses’ to ‘shoot’ a film with her. She believed Shukla was aware of it and that both "probably preyed on young women together."

The #MeToo movement, which many believe has arrived in the country after Tanushree Dutta again accused Nana Patekar of harassing her on sets of a film 10 years ago, gained further momentum after a former woman employee of Phantom Films outed ‘Queen’ director Vikas Bahl.

The incident had taken place in 2015. Phantom Films was dissolved last week.

In separate statements, Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane, who formed the company along with Bahl and Madhu Mantena seven years ago, detailed the backdoor deliberations that took place in order to punish their partner.

While big names from the Hindi film industry have still not reacted on the row, the revelations against Bahl drew a fierce reaction from their frequent collaborators, ‘Sacred Games’ co-writer Varun Grover and ‘Masaan’ director Neeraj Ghaywan.

Women from all walks of life have started to come forward, naming and shaming the predatory behaviour of men.

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