Two days after she alleged that Nana Patekar had harassed and intimidated her when they were working together in 2008, actress Tanushree Dutta on Thursday said that a director had asked her to take off her clothes and dance to give co-star Irrfan his cues. Dutta made the allegations in an interview to DNA. She did not name the director but said the incident occurred on the sets of Chocolate (2005), which was made by Vivek Agnihotri.
“It was the actor’s close-up and he had to just look at something and give expressions,” she told the publication. “This director, told me jao jaake kapde utaar ke naacho, usko cues do (take off your clothes and dance, give him cues).”
Dutta said Irrfan was horrified at the director’s remark. “He [Irrfan] just told the director, ‘What are you talking about? I can give my closeup. Mujhe acting aati hai’ (I know how to act),” she said.
Suniel Shetty, who had also featured in the film and was on set at the time, offered to give the cues instead, Dutta said. “Both, Irrfan Khan and Suniel Shetty spoke up. Suneil scolded that guy,” she added.
In an interview with Zoom TV on Tuesday, Dutta had alleged that Patekar intimidated and harassed her on the sets of the 2009 film Horn Ok Please. She said the actor had asked to be included as part of an “intimate step” in what was supposed to be Dutta’s solo dance number. She added that when she complained about Patekar’s behaviour to producer Sami Siddiqui and director Rakesh Sarang, no action was taken. Dutta futher alleged that Patekar then called people working for the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, who intimidated her and damaged her car. Dutta had first made the allegations in 2008. Patekar has denied them.
Dutta’s allegations have largely met with silence from the film industry, but on Thursday and Friday, Farhan Akhtar, Priyanka Chopra, Swara Bhasker, Sonam K Ahuja, Twinkle Khanna and others tweeted in support of the actress. Some of the tweets came in response to a Twitter thread by journalist Janice Sequeria, who said that she had been on the set of Horn Okay Please and had noticed a fracas. She said that Dutta had, later that night, detailed the incident to her and that her account on Tuesday was consistent with what she said 10 years ago.
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). She was last seen in Jag Mundhra’s Apartment (2010).