After actors and directors, even the names of some casting directors like Mukesh Chhabra and Vicky Sidana have sprung up in the ongoing #MeToo movement. One of the women to accuse Vicky is actress Kritika Sharma, known for web series 'Little Things'. In an exclusive interaction with Republic TV, Kritika spoke about her helplessness as police refuse to file an FIR in the case and she now hints at political pressure being the reason for the same.
Kritika had earlier revealed how Vicky sexually harassed her in 2013 while she was trying to be cast for a film through him. After an audition in Delhi, the actress arrived in Mumbai for an audition on his instruction and when she was searching for an accommodation, he suggested she could stay with him. Kritika didn't have apprehensions as he was married. However, despite the presence of his wife, Vicky made lewd comments, gestures and even flashed at her in the house. Later, on the pretext of introducing her to a filmmaker, he took her to a flat where Vicky forced himself on her, forcibly undressing her, until her resilience to shrug him off made him leave her.
Kritika approached the police on 18 October and though they registered a complaint, they have not filed a First Information Report (FIR) yet. The actor claims the police is not keen to file it and keep pointing out loopholes in her statement saying she is unsure about the incident. She came to know from hearsay that the police now wants her to find the auto-rickshaw driver who had dropped her to the airport after the alleged incident, which she finds 'ridiculous.' Kritika now claims the police's hesitancy to file an FIR could be because of 'political pressure' due to Vicky's links with producer Kumar Mangat, known for hits this year like 'Raid', 'Satyameva Jayate' and 'AndhaDhun.'
"I was just speaking to a friend. I don't know how true this is. There's some director (producer) called Kumar Mangat. Vicky Sidana used to be assistant casting director working with him, about 8-9 years back. Kumar Mangat has some links in politics. And I've been told that Vicky Sidana would supply girls to Kumar Mangat. Since he has political links, that could be one of the reasons why there is pressure due to which my FIR cannot be registered. I spoke to my lawyer and the tone with which he spoke, it was assuring that there is political pressure. But he said let's do all we can, writing to home minister or DGP. Nothing is working out for now," Kritika states.
On whether any Bollywood celebrity called her to support, she says, "See, it's just like all are sailing in the same boat. Like the friend who told me about Kumar Mangat said he has links with Ajay Devgn. And if links are on such high levels, I can't expect the FIR to be filed. When there's so much pressure, there's no point writing to home minister or anyone else."
While Kritika's incident took place in 2013, another aspiring actress had planned to take action against Vicky five years back, she says, "One of my friends, who was in 'Bodyguard' movie, told me that once he showed her all the messages on his phone after he passed out after a party. How he used to message people that they need to sleep with him to get work and they would agree. Once he promised to do that with another girl, but he broke the promise and gave her a junior artiste role. This woman wanted to file an FIR in 2008 or 2009. Then it's not clear what happened but they're saying she took it back and she had to leave the industry."
Kritika reveals it is the #Metoo movement that gave her the confidence to go through the incident again. "Forever I kept it inside thinking, 'The day I become something, I will tell people how this guy is.' That time I thought I am the only one with whom this has happened, why will people trust me? Now I have realised that there are so many women with whom he has done it in the same pattern. That's when my friend told me so many have spoken out against him, why don't you too? I wasn't keen initially as I know people are judgemental, and I get affected by what people write about me. But then after the call with my friend, I cried and decided to take up the issue, posted on social media, asking for help," she shared.
The actor has sent a letter to state Home Ministry regarding the refusal of police to file an FIR. She said a reply is expected by 25 October. Kritika also said that her lawyer is working on sending a legal notice to Vicky. The casting director had denied the allegations earlier, calling it 'baseless.'
Get the latest entertainment news from India & around the world. Now follow your favourite television celebs and telly updates. Republic World is your one-stop destination for trending Bollywood news. Tune in today to stay updated with all the latest news and headlines from the world of entertainment.