Bollywood filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar has lashed out at Aishwarya Rai Bachchan for hiding the fact about her pregnancy while signing for his film Heroine.
Madhur told a tabloid: "The entire issue would not have taken place had the actress told me in the beginning about an impending maternity. The truth was hidden from us."We learnt about it from news channels like the rest of the world. One should know that filmmaking functions on faith and trust.
"The film was announced in Cannes on May 13 while we commenced shooting on June 7. There was a gap of 24 days, if we had known the truth, things could have been reworked."This decision of pulling the plug had a devastating effect on me.
"I was in shock and depression. I could not come to the office for eight days for the fear of facing those people whose bread and butter depended on the film.
"It was a collective decision of the producers to pull off the plug. It takes a heart of steel to take such a hard decision.
"I am still reeling in a state of shock, but chose to remain silent all these days. Now I am coerced into breaking my silence, as I realise that truth deserves to be told."
Heroine was recently shelved as soon as the producers learnt that their lead actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was five months pregnant.
Says Madhur: "Today I am sitting alone in my office after the plugs have been pulled off.
"I had given my sweat and blood for this project for almost one and a half years. This was going to be my most ambitious project.
"My inherent belief is that motherhood is pious. I salute every woman who chooses to work in this delicate state but I would never knowingly put a woman in harm's way knowing the delicate nature of her health.
"The lead actress is the main protagonist of Heroine. We need to state this is no normal film. The film entails a huge canvas of around 40 locations in which heavy-duty scenes involving massive crowds are to be shot.
"Scenes of the actress being mobbed... adult content... heavy-duty scenes involving physical exertion.
"One day during the eight days shoot... one of my associate directors tripped and injured himself... the terrain was rocky.
" Today, when I know the condition of my then lead actress, I shudder at the thought... what if she would have been injured; I would have suffered a major guilt throughout my life.
"The lead actress was required to smoke on screen, but even if she chose not to, there are other actors smoking in the same frame which could have entailed passive smoking, and this would have been detrimental to a pregnant woman's health."