Tanushree Dutta on her 2008 sexual abuse incident: Bollywood was silent
Tanushree Dutta made an explosive debut with Aashiq Banaya Aapne (2005), which starred Emraan Hashmi and Sonu Sood. The actress did several films after that, including Dhol, Risk and Saas Bahu Aur Sensex.
However, she hasn't been active in films in the past few years. In an interview to a portal, she recalled how she had been sexually abused in 2008, and how everyone in the film industry stayed silent.
Talking about the popular #MeToo movement, which began after over 80 actresses in Hollywood accused producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, Tanushree slammed the Indian film industry's attitude to casting couch and sexual abuse.
She said, "The thing is that our country has become so hypocritical, and people constantly ask why #MeToo movement is not happening in India, it won't happen unless and until you'll acknowledge what happened with me in 2008.
"Everybody saw what happened, but the memory and the popular perception of it is that 'Tanushree Dutta spoke up against harassment and then she was no more.' The entire industry saw what happened, but there was not one word of condemnation from anybody. Every single person in this country remembers my incident and this was something on national TV for three days, but even today there's a stoic silence on that. So, my question is, 'Who is going to believe these hypocrites?' These are the people who stand up and raise their voice against women empowerment," said Tanushree.
She emphasised that she would continue to bring up the issue, till justice was meted out to her.
In 2008, Tanushree accused an actor of misbehaving with her on the sets of Horn Ok Pleasss. Apparently, she wasn't comfortable about doing an intimate step with Nana for a song and protested against it.
At the time, Tanushree had said that instead of choreographer Ganesh Acharya, the actor had started showing her the dance steps. Tanushree had made her displeasure clear at the actor's excessive closeness. Following this, she had locked herself up in the vanity van for 30 minutes. When she came out, she refused to shoot the item number.
"He was grabbing me by the arms, pushing me around then he would ask the choreographers to move and teach me how to dance, and the next thing I know he wanted to do an intimate sequence with me. It was ridiculous," she had said back then. When she had declared that she was uncomfortable, the actor allegedly sought help from members from a political party, who broke Tanushree's car.
The incident took a toll on her, and she moved to the US, shortly after to heal herself.