Bollywood casting director Mukesh Chhabra, who was all set to make his directorial debut with the Hindi remake of The Fault in our Stars, has been suspended from the film over sexual harassment allegations by multiple women.
In a statement released Friday, the production house, Fox Star Studios, said till the time Mukesh Chhabra Casting Company concludes its inquiry into the allegations, the director remains suspended.
“As a responsible organisation, Star India takes any allegation of sexual harassment of women at workplace very seriously, hence, Fox Star Studios has suspended the services of Mukesh Chabbra, the director of our film, Kizie Aur Manny, which is under production, till the internal complaints committee (ICC) of Mr Mukesh Chhabra Casting Company concludes its inquiry into the allegation,” the statement read.
Kizie Aur Manny stars Sushant Singh Rajput and Sanjana Sanghi, which is already embroiled in controversy with the lead actor accused of harassment by his co-star. Rajput has denied the allegations.
Meanwhile, according to a report published on Mid-Day, four aspiring actors accused Chhabra and another casting director Vicky Sidana of harassing them during audition process.
Chhabra had earlier denied the “unsubstantiated wild anonymous allegations” in a letter posted on his Twitter handle.
“It is very unfortunate that years of hard work and building is been muzzled with a series of unsubstantiated wild anonymous allegations. To put it into perspective, we have a ICC committee put into the place for years and we could have appreciated if the complaint received could have been forwarded to the said committee for probe and investigation,” the letter read.
“This is a clearly motivated piece and we deny any incident as alleged took place,” it further read.
Chabbra is known for working on films such as Gangs of Wasseypur, Dangal, Rockstar, Shahid and Kai Po Che! among others.