As women are coming out with their #MeToo stories, Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety director Luv Ranjan is the latest Bollywood celebrity who has been facing sexual harassment allegations. An anonymous actress talked to a daily about how she was harassed by the filmmaker on the sets of Pyaar Ka Punchnama (2011), his first film.
The anonymous detailed account of the actress states that Luv Ranjan had asked her to strip during the audition which made her really uncomfortable and she left the audition. This happened at producer Kumar Mangat’s office. He asked her to strip down to her underwear and even asked her if she masturbates. The actress recalls her horror on being asked to strip and said that she fled the scene immediately when asked to do the same. She said that she later got a call from the makers stating that she had bagged the role and was called for the rehearsals. According to the actress, while the male leads rehearsed with an acting coach, Ranjan took her inside and began asking her uncomfortable questions. He asked her if she was a virgin and made her extremely uncomfortable. That’s when she left and refused the film. The makers lied to her manager claiming that nothing of this sort had happened.
Here is the official statement that Luv Ranjan has released:
“This has probably been the longest day of my life. Since the time I have read the allegations, I have been wanting to react to them. I have been wanting to shout out loud that everyone has gone mad, I have been wanting to scream that I am not this man, I have been wanting to clear my name. Friends and Family have shown great support, support that has made me indebted to them for life.
I am very aware of the fact I am the man who made Pyaar ka Punchnama and it becomes very easy for someone who doesn’t know me personally to believe that I am guilty. Am I guilty? I have been wanting to scream out loud that I am not. I have never misbehaved with a woman, never touched a woman who isn’t in love with me and I with her, I haven’t sexted, flirted, molested or harassed a woman. I haven’t.
After getting rid of my anger towards the whole thing I have come to realize a few things –
It doesn’t matter that I believe I haven’t done anything wrong, what matters is that someone has felt wronged.
I have made a lot of effort in life to make women around me feel safe and comfortable which women who have known me or worked with me will vouch for. I have never intended to hurt someone, and taken utmost care to make sure that I don’t and in my heart I know I haven’t. But again what matters is that someone has felt hurt. Can I be so arrogant about myself to ignore that even if unintended, someone has got hurt. I can vouch for my intention but I can’t decide how someone should feel.
It doesn’t matter that I don’t accept the narrative, what matters is that someone feels hurt enough to present this narrative.
I am not the man that I am being portrayed as. I am not. I never was, I never will be.
Yet I apologise to who ever I have caused hurt, who ever I have not made feel comfortable enough. I apologise for not being able to communicate my intent. I apologise for not being able to make someone feel that I am the man that I have aspired to be and I believe I am.”