Bollywood director Anurag Kashyap has denied the sexual assault allegation levelled against him by actress Payal Ghosh on September 19, calling her claims ‘baseless’.
On Saturday, Ghosh took to Twitter claiming that the ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’ director had ‘forced himself’ on her.
Kashyap — who is critical of the establishment in India and has taken on Kangana Ranaut, a strong ally of the BJP — has denied those charges and slammed Ghosh asking her to maintain her dignity.
Tweeting in Hindi, Ghosh wrote about the alleged episode with Kashyap and urged the Indian Prime Minister to take action against the ‘demon’.
“@anuragkashyap72 has forced himself on me and extremely badly. @PMOIndia @narendramodi 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!”
In another interview with ANI, the actress whose credits include ‘Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi’, went into detail and claimed that the incident happened in 2015.
“Five years ago I met Anurag Kashyap regarding work. He called me to his house. When I went there, he took me to a separate room and tried to sexually assault me. He forced himself on me.”
Kashyap hit back with a series of tweets written in Hindi.
“Whether it’s my first wife or second, or a girlfriend... or all those actresses who worked with me... or all those female colleagues who have been working with me... I don’t indulge in such behaviour in public or otherwise. neither do I tolerate such behaviour,” tweeted Kashyap.
He believes that these accusations are the penalty for speaking his mind and taking on actors such as Ranaut.
“I am anticipating more accusations... This is just the beginning. Have received many calls that have told me — ‘don’t speak, stay silent’. I also know the source of the attack. Waiting for it,” he wrote.
He also urged Ghosh to maintain dignity and not to trivialise the issue of sexual assault of women. He claimed she was lying and that he had always respected women.
Over the last few weeks, Ranaut, who is intent on cleansing Bollywood of dark forces, and director Kashyap have been engaged in a war of words. As soon as Ghosh made her accusations, Ranaut threw her weight behind her, demanding Kashyap’s arrest. She also retweeted Ghosh’s post and made her stand clear in the issue.
“Every voice matters #MeToo #ArrestAnuragKashyap,” tweeted Ranaut.
Co-stars and colleagues have come out in strong support of Kashyap.
Actress including Taapsee Pannu and Swara Bhasker seem to be supporting the director. Bhasker retweeted his social media posts denying the charges and revisited an old video of Kashyap talking about how his provocative tweets can have consequences. Meanwhile, Pannu labelled him as the ‘biggest feminist’ in her life.
“For you my friend, are the biggest feminist I know. See you on the sets soon of yet another piece of art that shows how powerful and significant women are in the world you create,” tweeted Pannu.