BY SUGANDHA RAWAL
New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) Actress Payal Ghosh says her intention was not to defame anyone when she named Huma Qureshi, Mahie Gill and Richa Chadha, while accusing filmmaker Anurag Kashyap of sexual misconduct. She claims she wanted to present a true picture of the filmmaker.
Late last week, Payal claimed that Anurag tried to molest her in 2014. She said that in order to convince her, Anurag said that “all the actresses he has worked with are just a call away” — indicating that these actresses have provided sexual favors to Kashyap.
Payal has drawn flak for dragging the names of the other actresses in her #MeToo claims. Now, she has come forward to explain, sharing that she narrated the incident and the conversations as they happened.
“I have said what Anurag said to me, whether it was a good thing or bad. I have also shared the good stuff like when he said he is a big fan of Amitji (Amitabh Bachchan), and now he talks to him for work… This is a very big achievement, and it inspires me as well,” Payal told IANS.
“He also told me that he is in constant touch with filmmaker Karan Johar. I have also shared the good things he told me about other people. It is not like I am sharing only the negative,” she added.
The actress continued: “He acts like a flagbearer of women empowerment, women liberation and feminism. What kind of a person he (Anurag) is when he says such things about his actress friends after meeting me for just two days? Does he respect women like this?
“I didn’t take their names. Unke saath mera lena dena nahi hai (I have nothing to do with them). I don’t even know them, why would I take their name? I shared what Anurag said to me as it is, to let people know what kind of a person he is. That is the whole point of me talking about it.”
Payal claims she didn’t take names of the actresses to “defame” them.
“It is a possibility that Anurag lied to me to convince me, or he might be saying the truth. I don’t know. I am not even saying that, I am just mentioning what he said to me, not that they did it or didn’t do it. I don’t have any personal grudge against them, I don’t know them or have met them, so why would I say anything against them?” she stated.
Some of them are taking legal action against Payal for dragging their names into the row. On this, Payal said: “I will handle it because I haven’t said anything against them. I again say that I have shared what Anurag told me.”
Payal feels these actresses should go and ask Anurag why he brought up their name.
“Anurag might be lying. I don’t know. I shared every discussion I had with him. They should go and question Anurag, but they won’t as they will get work by supporting Anurag. Had I shared half-information, baat adhuri reh jaati (it would be incomplete). Again, I will say that I am not making something against somebody.”
Reacting to several people speculating that she is misusing the #MeToo movement, Payal claimed: “I don’t care what they are saying. People who are supporting him are from his lobby, his friends and all.”
Earlier, Payal reportedly named Huma along with two other Bollywood actresses during a recent interview, alleging that these actresses have provided sexual favours to Kashyap. Huma, who made her Bollywood debut in Kashyap’s 2012 film series “Gangs Of Wasseypur”, tweeted to say that Kashyap is a dear friend and has never misbehaved with her. She also expressed anger at being “dragged into this mess”.
Payal also reacted to Anurag’s former wives Aarti Bajaj and Kalki Koechlin coming out to support him, and questioned why did they leave the filmmaker if he is such a good person?
“I want to ask one thing: If he was such a great person, then why did they leave him? Maybe they are getting alimony from him and that is why they are supporting him.”
BY SUGANDHA RAWAL