The fuming rage of #MeToo has not yet left the country after gaining huge momentum in India since 2018. Owing to this movement, many prominent Bollywood names have been called, leaving the industry in bewilderment. The latest addition to this list is Former Femina Miss India beauty pageant winner and actor Niharika Singh who has accused Nawazuddin Siddiqui and few others of sexually harassing her.
Niharika, in her statement, revealed how award-winning actor Nawazuddin forced her into a relationship which later became abusive. The model also accused Nawazuddin of spreading stories about her to ensure that she wouldn’t get work elsewhere after she broke up with him.
“In 2013, Nawaz was offered a film by Buddhadeb Dasgupta titled ‘Anwar ka ajab kissa’ and he called me to ask me if I would do a small role in that film. I would only be required to shoot for 3 days. I gladly agreed and went to Shimultata where the shoot was scheduled. He tried to re-engage me sexually, begging me to be with him but I refused, saying I was happy to be his friend and nothing else. After coming back from the shoot, I didn’t take his calls and maintained my distance.”
“I met Nawaz again in 2014 at the ‘Miss Lovely’ India release. This time he came in an SUV, with an entourage as the ‘star’ of the film. He was constantly throwing tantrums, upset with the way the promotions were being handled. He complained that the director should’ve just made a painting at home if he didn’t care much about box-office. He was very awkward around me so I tried to overcompensate by praising him in media interactions and indulged him to make him feel secure. One evening, after a promotional event in Ahmedabad, he tried to grab me again. I just walked away. “‘Anwar ka ajab kissa’ didn’t get a theatrical release and I heard from various sources that Nawaz had started telling people that I was a terrible actress. I didn’t get too many films offers after that," added the actor model.
Niharika mentioned how such abuse has been normalised in the glamour industry. The actor further pointed to the chairman and Managing Director of T-Series, Bhushan Kumar, who allegedly sent a suggestive text to her, but once she showed her disinterest, he never tried again. However, this affected her movie co-starring Himesh Reshammiya, which was produced by Bhushan Kumar. She explained how it took years for the film to be complete and she was compelled to shoot a couple of songs without director John Matthew Mathan’s involvement.
In 2017, Nawazuddin Siddiqui wrote a memoir called ‘An ordinary life’, with writer Rituparna Chatterjee, which was published by Penguin Random House. Under the title ‘Relationships’, he wrote a completely fabricated account of their relationship without her knowledge or consent. Niharika goes on to talk about how the media chose to sensationalise Nawazuddin's fabricated account about his relationship with her while Penguin Random House remained silent.
Here is the complete statement by Niharika:
2005 Miss India Niharika Singh's experiences in Bollywood but especially with Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Mayank Singh Singvi
Niharika and other women accused Siddiqui of making up lies in his autobiography, due to which he withdrew the book.
This is her side of the story. pic.twitter.com/XBVGgE3r0c— Sandhya Menon (@TheRestlessQuil) November 9, 2018
The #MeToo movement was triggered in India after Tanushree Dutta accused Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her on the sets of 2008 film Horn Ok Pleasss. This movement gave courage to the many feared voices in the show-biz industry and also across different fraternities.