Richa Chadha speaks on sexual-assault allegations against Hirani

Entertainment

18 Jan 2019

Bollywood silent because they don't know facts: Richa on Hirani

Bollywood has largely been silent about the sexual assault allegations against filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani and actor Richa Chadha believes that is because they are not aware of the facts of the case.

Hirani is the latest name to be called out for sexual harassment with a woman "assistant" alleging that he sexually abused her more than once between March-September 2018 while working on Sanju.

Considering facts

'It's not power structure, they don't know the facts'

When asked if the industry was quiet about Hirani as he is a powerful director, Richa said, "It isn't power structure. I think everyone is tentative because they don't know the facts of the case."

"Legally, a publication is allowed to run a story because they vet it with their legal team. But it's an anonymous allegation," said the Masaan actor.

Richa launches calendar of her upcoming film 'Shakeela'

The actor was speaking at a special event of her upcoming film Shakeela, where she launched calendars of the film. The calendar features her in poses inspired by posters of pulp movies from the 1990s. The film will release on March 19.

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Projects

Richa talks about consent in her upcoming film 'Section 375'

Explaining her views, the actor said, "I'm not defending him or the girl either. I've learned it the hard way. A friend of mine was falsely accused. This is the only reason why I feel people are tentative."

Richa said her upcoming film Section 375 debates about consent and said if survivors come out and share their stories, they must be supported.

Support

Hirani is one of the directors with cleanest image: Richa

"If there's a survivor willing to come forward and say 'this happened to me' and confide in people, we must support her. Which is why I vocally supported Vinta Nanda," said Richa.

"He (Hirani) is one of the directors with the cleanest image, you must not forget that. There have been others who were accused but nobody said anything," she added.

Legal route

'Best thing to do in #MeToo is to take legal-route'

Richa said that she has understood that the best thing to do in #MeToo movement is to take the legal route.

"The press also plays a role. When you print a hearsay, the powerful will suppress the story but many people get caught up in the rumors. It has to be looked at from both sides," said the actor.

A lot of people suffer in trial by media: Richa

Richa said a bad date, a relationship gone sour or vendetta is not #MeToo. "We are talking about 2019, if exploitation has happened, you should definitely go to the police and take legal route. A lot of people suffer in trial by media," she said.

Encouraging victims

If someone is putting pressure on you, voice it: Richa

On fighting the exploitation, Richa said, "If women don't feel safe, then how will the work be done. It shouldn't be trial by media but trial by law."

"If you've filed a complaint then don't back out. If someone is putting pressure on you, voice it. There are people who'll hear you," she added.

Many in Bollywood have refused to speak on Hirani's issue.

Javed Akhtar, Arshad Warsi, Dia Mirza among those supporting Hirani

While most in Bollywood remained silent on the issue, Hirani's previous collaborators Arshad Warsi, Dia Mirza, and Sharman Joshi have batted for the filmmaker. The director also found support in veteran screenwriter Javed Akhtar, who called him the "most decent" person in the industry.

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