Actress Tanushree Dutta, who has accused senior actor Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her in 2008, on Tuesday thanked the Mumbai Police for providing her with 24-hour protection after Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena party allegedly threatened her, The Times of India reported. Dutta said the police’s support has strengthened her resolve.
“Raj Thackeray’s MNS party in an interview given to a leading daily has threatened me with a violent attack,” the actress said in a statement. “This on top of other threats issued to me from Nana’s side.”
Dutta’s statement came a day after Patekar sent her a legal notice, reportedly asking her to apologise for making false claims.
In an interview to Zoom TV on September 25, Dutta accused Patekar of intimidating and harassing her on the sets of the film Horn ‘Ok’ Pleassss, which was released in 2009. Dutta was signed for a song but was later replaced by Rakhi Sawant. She first made the allegations in 2008. Patekar had denied the allegations at the time too.
Dutta told the entertainment channel that Patekar used to trouble her on the film’s set and had asked the director to include him in an “intimate step” in what was supposed to be the actress’ solo dance performance. She also claimed that Patekar had called people reportedly working for the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, who intimidated her and damaged her car. A video of the attack went viral last week.
Dutta won the Femina Miss India Universe title in 2004 and made her Hindi film debut with Aditya Datt’s Aashiq Banaya Aapne (2005). Her film credits include Dhol (2007), Good Boy, Bad Boy (2007) and Saas Bahu aur Sensex (2008). Dutta was last seen in Jag Mundhra’s film Apartment (2010).
The allegations have largely met with silence from the Hindi film industry but last week, Farhan Akhtar, Priyanka Chopra, Swara Bhasker, Sonam K Ahuja, Twinkle Khanna and others tweeted in Dutta’s support. Some of the tweets came in response to a Twitter thread by journalist Janice Sequeria, who said she had been on the film’s set and had noticed a fracas. She said Dutta had talked to her about the incident in detail on the day it occurred and her account was consistent with what she had said 10 years ago.