Actress Daisy Irani, in an interview to the Mumbai Mirror, revealed that a man assigned to be her guardian during the shooting of Hum Panchhi Ek Dal Ke (1957) in Chennai raped her. She was six years old then.
“He accompanied me to a film shoot in Madras,” Irani told Mumbai Mirror. “One night in the hotel room he violated me, hit me with a belt and warned me that he would kill me if I ever told anyone about what had happened...I can recall the incident only in flashes, but I do remember the killing pain, and the visual of him belting me. The next morning, I was back at the studio as if nothing had happened. For years, I couldn’t dare to tell my mother about what he had done.”
Irani made her Hindi cinema debut in Bandish (1955). She was pushed into the film industry by her mother, she told the tabloid.
She appeared in a number of succesful films, often as a curly haired boy. Her credits include Jagte Raho (1956), Naya Daur (1957) and Dhool Ka Phool (1959). Her younger sister, Honey Irani, was also a child artist and the two appeared together in a few films including Qaidi No. 911 (1959) and Kati Patang (1970). “Thanks to our mother, Perin, our lives, when we were kids, resembled a never-ending black comedy,” Daisy Irani told Mumbai Mirror.
Irani also revealed that a producer made unwanted sexual advances at her when she was a teenager. “When I was 15 or so mother made me wear a sari, padded me up with a new-fangled sponge, and left me alone with producer Mallikchand Kochar, who was planning a film called Mere Huzoor then, at his office,” Irani told the tabloid. “It was all quite hilarious...He joined me on the sofa, and started touching me… I knew what was on his mind. I took out the sponge things and handed them to him. He was furious. Now why did I do that? Because, I’ve always seen the funnier side of things.”
Irani said that she was making the revelations years later because she wanted to caution the current generation of child actors and their parents. “Child actors have it tough,” she said. “In a majority of cases they have been taken advantage of. Maybe a few have had it easy, but most don’t, really.”
When asked if she had any hesitation about going public with the accusations after more than six decades, she said, “None at all...The truth never killed anyone. If I’ve spoken up after years and years and if the result sounds sensational in print, no problem.”
Irani is the maternal aunt of actor Farhan Akhtar and his director sister Zoya (they are Honey Irani’s children) and director-choreographer Farah Khan. Her recent acting credits include Housefull (2010), Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi (2012) and Happy New Year (2014) .