After director Sajid Khan’s exit from Housefull 4, it is now actor Nana Patekar who has distanced himself from the film.
Akshay Kumar took to Twitter to say, “I have requested the producers of Housefull 4 to cancel the shoot until further investigation. I will not work with any proven offenders.”
Kumar’s wife, author Twinkle Khanna, took to Twitter in support of the survivors.
She wrote: “Appalled hearing multiple incidents of harassment and it is truly horrific to hear what these women have been through. Everyone involved in Housefull needs to take a firm stance on this issue. This cannot go on.”
Nana Patekar denies wrongdoing
Tanushree Dutta has alleged that Nana Patekar harassed her on the sets of the 2008 film Horn Ok Pleasss. The released statement says, “Nanasaheb does not want any inconvenience caused to anyone and hence in the backdrop of false accusations levelled against him. He thought it fit to distance himself with the ongoing project of Housefull.”
Tanushree Dutta had alleged a while ago that during the shoot of a song sequence for Horn Ok Pleassss, Nana had behaved inappropriately with her.
Nana, meanwhile, has denied the accusations saying, “What should I say? I said 10 years ago. The truth which was 10 years ago remains the same today and will continue to be tomorrow as well.”
Sajid Khan steps away from Housefull 4 movie production
Sajid Khan had released a statement on Friday that said, “In the wake of the allegations against me and the pressure being put on my family, my producer and the stars of the film Housefull 4, I must take the moral responsibility of stepping down from my directorial post, till the time I can allay the allegations and prove the truth. I request my friends in the media to kindly not pass judgment till the truth is out.”
Khan’s sister and filmmaker-choreographer Farah Khan too issued a statement about the “heartbreaking time” for the family. She tweeted: “We have to work through some very difficult issues. If my brother has behaved in this manner he has a lot to atone for. I don’t in any way endorse this behaviour and stand in solidarity with any women who has been hurt.”
The Indian Express spoke to two of three women who accused Khan of sexual harassment and assault. Journalist Karishma Upadhyay said she was in her 20s, when she was working with a leading daily in the 2000s, and went to Khan’s sister’s house to conduct an interview. She alleged he indulged in dirty talk, exposed himself and forcibly kissed her.
Prior to Sajid’s statement, lead actor of Housefull 4 Akshay Kumar had already said that he has requested the producers of the film to cancel all shoots until a proper investigation is done as he does not want to work with any proven offenders.
His co-star Riteish Deshmukh also released a statement endorsing Akshay’s stand.