In the wake of #MeToo movement in Bollywood, names of many personalities had come up as they were accused of sexual misconduct. Bollywood actor Lara Dutta and her husband Mahesh Bhupathi were the first ones to step forward and speak on the matter.
At an event, We The Women, on Sunday, Mahesh Bhupathi said Lara told him Housefull director Sajid Khan had inappropriately behaved with a female actor on the film’s set. Not just Lara Dutta, but actresses Dia Mirza and Bipasha Basu had also termed the director’s behaviour “sexist” and “obnoxious”.
In conversation with journalist Barkha Dutt, Bhupathi said, “When we were dating she was shooting for Housefull and we were in London at that time. She would come home and her closest friend was her hair dresser and they both would be complaining about how one of her co-stars was being treated by the director. Rude, vulgar.”
Further, he said, “I told her you guys are all complicit, all the four of you who were in the film (and) were listening to what he was saying and not telling him it’s not ok. So at some level you guys are complicit and she agreed.”
Mahesh said he understood that entertainment industry functioned in a different way but one couldn’t ignore indecent behaviour. “I come from the sports industry where we think differently. In sports, the cream always rises to the top. If you’re good at what you do, you are going to win matches and get results.
“Obviously the film industry is different. If the fraternity decides to ostracise you, you don’t get work. But I don’t think it’s good enough reason to let things like these slide,” he said.
Mahesh also criticised top Bollywood actors for being silent on the #MeToo movement.