The #MeToo movement in India gathered momentum after Tanushree Dutta in September accused Nana Patekar of sexual harassment on the sets of Horn OK Pleassss in 2008. After that, various women accused celebs such as Vikas Bahl, Sajid Khan, Subhash Ghai, Chetan Bhagat, Kailash Kher, Rajat Kapoor, and Alok Nath of allegedly misbehaving with them.
The latest allegation is now being leveled against Bollywood filmmaker Vipul Shah who has been accused of sexual harassment by Sacred Games actor Elnaaz Norouzi. According to Iranian model-turned-actor, Vipul Shah made a sexual advance towards her while auditioning her for his latest film, Namaste England.
In her account to a leading daily, Elnaaz details how Shah made her run for a small role in the film for months without actually casting her ever. The actress even claims that the filmmaker took several auditions of her and fact that he tried to kiss her and get close when she met Vipul at his office. She narrates, “I met him again in his office, and again he mentioned, “We will sign the papers over the next couple of days.” This time, when we were saying bye, he came on to me. It was too close for comfort. I didn’t get the right vibe. He gave a peck on my face. I didn’t expect it. The next time we met at his office, he tried to kiss me. I backed off, said, ‘What are you doing? We are in your office!’ I pushed him away, being affirmative; but careful enough not to come across as rude, because I really wanted the film,”
Elnaaz headed to Namaste England shoot location in Patiala for an audition but yet wasn’t told the story by Vipul. She further adds, “He said, “Come to my room. I will make you hear the script.” At this point, he touched my butt, and dragged me towards himself. I dodged him, went to my room, and sat there wondering if I should just give in.”
It was after that when Elnaaz signed for Netflix’s Sacred Games but she shares that Vipul told her to skip the project. She informs, “He said that he would launch me in a big way. It was a girl-next-door part in Namaste England, and that he was clear he would not be able to cast me, as a result of Sacred Games, and that I should skip the offer since they would make me do nude scenes. I was mentally tortured for three months. It was evident that if I slept with Vipul, I would get the part. Every time I went to his office, he tried (to hit) on me. He (would) inappropriately touch me, and (try to) kiss me,” she said.
Elnaaz stated that she didn’t report him to the police since she is an outsider in the country and Vipul being in a powerful position may create issues for her. However, she decided to share her #MeToo story so that ‘disgusting people to stop misusing their power.’