Actress Tanushree Dutta on Tuesday alleged that Nana Patekar had intimidated and harassed her on the sets of the 2009 film Horn ‘Ok’ Pleassss. Dutta had been signed for a song in the film but was later replaced by Rakhi Sawant. Dutta first made the allegations in 2008. Patekar had denied them at the time.
Speaking to Zoom TV, Dutta alleged that Patekar would trouble her on the set and asked to be included as part of an “intimate step” in what was supposed to be Dutta’s solo dance number. She said she had complained against Patekar’s misbehaviour to producer Sami Siddiqui and director Rakesh Sarang, but no action was taken. Dutta also claimed that Patekar called people working for the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, who intimidated her and damaged her car.
According to a Times of India report, Dutta had filed a complaint in 2008 with the Cine and Television Artistes Association, demanding compensation for damage to property and her reputation. Refuting the allegations, Patekar had said at a press conference, “Tanushree is my daughter’s age and I have no clues about what made her say such things about me. I have been a part of this film industry since the last 35 years and haven’t had anyone saying such things about me ever.”
In the Zoom TV interview, Dutta alleged that Patekar has always been “disrespectful towards women”. She added, “People in the industry know that he [Patekar] has beaten actresses, he has molested them. His behaviour with women has always been crude but no publication has printed anything about it.”
Dutta also said that popular actors have worked with Patekar despite knowing about his alleged mistreatment of actresses and named Akshay Kumar and Rajnikanth.
On Monday, Dutta had spoken to News18 about the incident, but the report did not name the actor. She told the publication that she had brought up allegations of sexual harassment in the industry way before Hollywood took on the issue last year through the Me Too movement, but no one had paid heed to her. She said that the incident led her to step back from the film industry.
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 Apartment (2010).