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MeToo: Film industry members defend Raju Hirani

January 16, 2019

Several prominent Hindi film industry figures have come to the defence of prominent filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani, who has been accused of sexual harassment.

The latest is director Boney Kapoor, who says Hirani is a good man. Speaking to a well known news agency, Kapoor said, "Rajkumar Hirani is too good a man to do something like this. I don't believe this allegation."

Hirani has been accused of sexual harassment by a co-worker at his production house Rajkumar Hirani Films Private Limited. She said Hirani abused her for six months in 2018, during the making of the film Sanju.

Accusations that Hirani has denied in a statement he issued.

I was completely shocked when these allegations were brought to my notice about two months back. I had suggested immediately that it is essential to take this matter to any committee or any legal body. The complainant has chosen to go to the media instead. I want to very strongly state that this is a false, malicious and mischievous story being spread with the sole intention of destroying my reputation. - Rajkumar Hirani, Filmmaker

Actress Dia Mirza, who starred in Hirani's films Lage Raho Munna Bhai and in Sanju also defended him. She has said she is deeply distressed by the allegations. "As someone who has known and respects Raju sir for 15 years I can only hope that a due official enquiry is conducted. He is one of the most decent human beings I have ever worked with and I think it would be grossly unjust on my part to speak on this as I do not know the details."

Actor Sharman Joshi, who has worked with Hirani in the film 3 Idiots, also tweeted his support. "Raju Sir, is a man of immense integrity, character, honour, compassion and truthfulness, all the virtues one would imagine are non-existent in people today, someone I am absolutely inspired by and have learnt from and because of whom I believe I have gone onto being a better person. All I want to say is that this too shall pass and I can imagine how demeaning it might be to even stand up for yourself in a situation such as this."

Sharman signed off the note saying, "I stand for Raju Hirani."

The woman who accused Hirani in her #MeToo account, said she had no choice but to be polite to him. "I was worried that if I left midway, it would be impossible to find another job in this industry if he were to speak badly about my work. Because if Hirani said I wasn't good, everybody would listen. My future would be in jeopardy."

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