Recently, actor Payal Ghosh accused filmmaker Anurag Kashyap of sexually assaulting her and Anurag has denied all the allegations made by Payal against him on social media . Watch the video for what we know and don't know about this case so far.
What We Know
Payal claims to have met Anurag thrice and it was on their third meeting that Anurag allegedly molested her.
What We Don't Know
When exactly did this incident happen. In an interview to India Today Payal said the incident took place at the end of 2014, when he was working on Bombay Velvet.
However, when Payal's lawyer issued an official statement, it said,
“2015, Payal Ghosh was molested and was treated badly at Kashyap’s house. Paperwork is still on and will file a complaint on September 21.”
So, 2014 or 2015, when did the alleged assault take place?
Payal said she has no proof of the allegations that she has made against Anurag Kashyap.
What We Know
In an interview to Etimes Payal said she has no proof to substantiate her claims of sexual harassment. The actor claims Kashyap messaged her multiple times, asked her to come and meet her at his residence, invited her for his holi party, but she has no record of it. She said she changed her phone many times after the incident.
What We Don't Know
How far will Payal's allegations carry in a court of law if there is no documentary proof or evidence or eye witness to support her claims of sexual harassment. Several cases that came up during #MeToo movement could not be contested in court due to lack of evidence.
Several actors and filmmakers from the film industry have come out in support of Anurag Kashyap.
What We Know
Actors like Taapsee Pannu, Radhika Apte and filmmaker Anubhav Sinha have put out messages on social media backing Anurag.
Taapsee tweeted "For you, my friend are the biggest feminist I know"
Radhika posted: “I have always felt immensely secured in your presence since the day I have known you.”
Anubhav Sinha tweeted: “Thank you ladies, this is time all of you made sure that the #MeToo movement doesn't become a political tool.”
Here's Why it's Problematic
While we respect their sentiments this unconditional support is problematic too. From day one, the basis of #metoo movement has been about giving survivors our trust. We can't pick and choose which stories we choose to believe and which stories we look the other way for. Another thing that we need to understand here is that like in every such case of alleged sexual harassment, a survivor should be given a fair chance to justice without assumptions.
What Needs To Be Called Out
Payal Ghosh's attempt to malign three other actors in her allegations against Anurag Kashyap needs to be called out too. In her interviews to the media, Payal has dragged in the names of Richa Chadha, Huma Qureshi and Mahi Gill as part of her claims against Anurag. These are actors who have worked hard over the years and made a name for themselves in the industry. It is totally unacceptable for someone to make allegations that dishonour other women without proof.
Richa Chadha decided to send a legal notice to Payal over her comments "Our Client 'Ms. Richa Chadda', condemns the act of her name being unnecessarily and falsely dragged in a defamatory manner into controversies and allegations being recently raised by third parties." a statement from her lawyer said.
Huma Qureshi reacted saying "Anurag and I last worked together in 2012-13 and he is a dear friend and an extremely talented director. In my personal experience and to my knowledge he has neither misbehaved with me or anyone else."
While Mahi Gill in an interview to Etimes said "All I want to say is that I have known Anurag for a long time now. We may not be in touch but I am sure Anurag can never ever speak like this about any of his actors."
The #MeToo movement is about giving courage to women to stand up and speak about their traumatic experiences at the hands of powerful men, it should not become a movement that slanders other women or casts aspersions on the character of other women without any basis.
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