In the wake of #MeToo Movement, that has touched the Indian shores after making a wave in the west, several women have come out sharing their sexual harassment stories on the social media. Amid this, many women have accused AIB comedians Utsav Chakraborty and Gursimran Khamba of sexual harassment. Now, a woman, former student of IIT-BHU, claimed that Masaan co-writer Varun Grover has sexually harassed her back in 2001. In a detailed post, a woman alleged that Grover held her up inappropriately while practising for a play.
In a screenshot of the post, that has been doing the rounds on social media, the woman said the incident happened in 2001 while they were working on a play for the annual festival. The "Sacred Games" writer said the screenshot was "untrue" and "misleading". He also issued a detailed statement on the entire matter, explaining his stand on the allegations put by the anonymous woman.
Here's my detailed statement about the completely fabricated, misleading, and defamatory allegations against me. Am absolutely willing to cooperate and clear my name. Let's not allow such agenda-driven tactics to derail this movement please. pic.twitter.com/VTFeIjygcl— वरुण (@varungrover) October 9, 2018
"I completely, totally, categorically deny all the allegations being made. The screenshot in question is untrue, misleading, and defamatory to say the least," Grover posted on Twitter.
I completely, totally, categorically deny all the allegations being made. The screenshot in question is untrue, misleading, and defamatory to say the least. Issuing a detailed statement soon.— वरुण (@varungrover) October 9, 2018
Filmmakers Anurag Kashyap and Neeraj Ghaywan, who have frequently collaborated with Grover, supported him.
"This man I have known so closely and so so long that I refuse to believe any allegations about him. #believethevictim and investigate the claims and also be careful to not let vested interests sabotage a long pending genuine movement," Kashyap tweeted.
Ghaywan, who has worked with Grover on "Maasan", said it was impossible for him to believe that the writer could do such a thing.
"I know Varun for the large part of my life. I can never believe he would do such a thing. Never. Those allegations reek of vindictive behaviour and not a shred of truth in them. Absolutely, 100 per cent, in solidarity with his statement below," he tweeted.
It's appalling how such slanderous allegations are trying to sabotage the #MeToo movement in India. Varun is someone who is truly putting his weight and career behind for this movement. It is horribly irresponsible of whoever is behind this to malign him.— Neeraj Ghaywan (@ghaywan) October 9, 2018
The director said it was appalling how "such slanderous allegations are trying to sabotage the #MeToo movement in India."
"Varun is someone who is truly putting his weight and career behind for this movement. It is horribly irresponsible of whoever is behind this to malign him," he added.
Ghaywan said his response to the allegations against Grover was emotional.
"This is my truth, what I believe in and I wanted to put it out there. You can wait for the truth to come in due course."
When the entire Vikas Bahl controversy was going on, Varun Grover was one of those Bollywood celebrities who apologised for being a part of this by working with him at Phantom Films. He also spoke up against Utsav Chakraborty, who was accused of sexual harassment by many women on Twitter.
I am sorry. As somebody who has been a part of many projects with #Phantom in various capacities (lyrics/writer), I feel ashamed that they failed to provide safe working environment for women.— वरुण (@varungrover) October 7, 2018
For more updates on #MeToo Movement in India, click here.
(With PTI Inputs)