Actress Tanushree Dutta. Image Credit: IANS

While several of biggest names in the business, including Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan, have refused to comment on Tanushree Dutta’s allegations, other A-listers such as Farhan Akhtar, Priyanka Chopra and Sonam Kapoor have thrown in their support for the former actress.

 ■  Farhan Akhtar

Quoting a Twitter thread by journalist Janice Sequeira, who claims she was present when Dutta was harassed by veteran film actor Nana Pataekar on the sets of Horn OK Pleassss, Akhtar and Kapoor have vouched for the credibility of the story.

In her Twitter thread, Sequeira states as a cub reporter, she was assigned to the film’s shoot back in 2008 and witnessed the harassment, which resulted in Dutta locking herself in her vanity van.

“Out of nowhere, goons turned up and began banging against the vanity van door,” she tweeted. “I was told the producers had called them to set. Cops arrived. Amidst this chaos, I got hold of Nana Patekar. All he said was, “Meri beti jaisi hai” [She’s like my daughter], which didn’t really make any sense at that point.”

Sequeira states that Dutta told her Patekar forced himself into the song she was shooting for, where “a lewd dance step was introduced on the insistence of #NanaPatekar, so he could touch her inappropriately. That’s where alarm bells rang, and Tanushree decided to walk off set. What she didn’t expect was the aggression shown by the producers after.”

Retweeting the thread, Bollywood star Akhtar came out in support of Dutta, writing on Twitter: “This thread is very telling. @janiceseq85 was there at the time of the incident being debated today. Even when #TanushreeDutta had career concerns to keep quiet 10 years ago she did not & her story hasn’t changed now. Her courage should be admired, not her intention questioned.”

Akhtar is not alone in lending his support to Dutta.

Priyanka Chopra retweeted Akhtar, writing: “Agreed..the world needs to #BelieveSurvivors.”

Her tweet got the backing from her cousin Parineeti Chopra who added: “I agree too. Survivors are survivors because they have dealt with something horrible and come out on the other side. So believe them, respect them. @janiceseq85 #TanushreeDutta.”

“It hurts to be #TanushreeDutta right now. To be alone, questioned. No woman wants publicity that opens the floodgates of trolling and insensitivity. What happened to her on set was intimidation. Her only fault was she didn’t back down-takes a special courage to be #TanushreeDutta,” stated Richa Chadha.

Sonam Kapoor also stepped up, tweeting: “I believe #TanushreeDatta and @janiceseq85 recollection of the account. Janice is my friend, and she is anything but an exaggerator or a liar. And it’s up to us to stand together. Many of my co-workers, female and male have been harassed and bullied, but it’s their story to tell. If we don’t encourage their voices and instead vilify and question them, how will victims ever become survivors? Let them speak up! Stand up with them!”

“Please read this thread before judging or shaming #TanushreeDutta a working environment without harassment and intimidation is a fundamental right and by speaking up this brave woman helps pave the way towards that very goal for all of us!,” said Twinkle Khanna.

Meanwhile, Vir Das batted for #MeToo, stating: “For men, a big part of the #MeToo movement is listening to women tell their story. Supporting them with belief. #TanushreeDutta is telling hers. Be a good man, shut your mouth, and listen to it. There are many many more like it in our industry. And they deserve to be heard.”