Several female celebrities have named their assaulters and opened up on the unacceptable actions done to them as the #MeToo movement makes headlines in the country. But it is a known fact that the men are not safe either in the entertainment industry. Saif Ali Khan was among those who claimed he was harassed during the early years of his career, though he clarified that it was not a sexual assault. Saqib Saleem had opened up, without taking names, of a man putting his hands into the actor's pants when he was just 21 years old. And now, in what is being termed as the first major #MeToo story from a male celebrity, TV actor Rahul Raj Singh, who was arrested on charges of abetting his then-girlfriend Pratyusha Banerjee's alleged suicide and is out of bail, has claimed screenwriter Mushtaq Sheikh sexually assaulted him repeatedly.
Rahul, in an interview with Mid-Day, shared that the reason behind quitting the TV industry was because of Mushtaq's constant offers to sleep with him. In the report, Rahul claims the writer first contacted him when was a Grasim Mr. India model in 2004. Since Mushtaq was close to A-listers like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Farah Khan and Ekta Kapoor, Rahul was 'glad' about him getting 'impressed'. The latter expressed interest to cast the actor in a film and asked him to meet after office hours for 'discussions'.
Rahul then claimed Mushtaq started calling him at 3 and 4 am, but he used to pick up his calls only because the writer was working with Subhash Ghai's Mukta Arts then and had plans to cast the former in the remake of a Korean film. Later, the actor says the screenwriter called him over to his house and said he was going to do 'something different' to him that he will 'enjoy'. Rahul said he was 'scared' and replied that every 'relationship is not about sex', left the house and lost the film.
But Mushtaq continued to trouble Rahul even later when the former entered the TV industry. When Rahul got selected for a lead role in a TV show named 'Amber Dhara', Mushtaq told him that he was the one behind the show makers' decision. The actor was later signed up for another show 'Mata Ki Chowki', again associated with the writer, but he claims his track was written out of the show after he refused the latter's offer to 'sleep with him' to keep his job.
Rahul also detailed another incident when he was working on the show 'Ganesh Leela' where Mushtaq allegedly pulled the actor's head towards himself and started to 'unbutton' him in a car, following which the enraged actor threatened to leave in the middle of the jungle.' Rahul concluded by saying that he quit the TV industry despite earning Rs 3-4 lakh a month then because of Mushtaq as he didn't want to be forced to sleep for work.
The actor added that his friends were apprehensive about him joining the #MeToo movement as he was 'a man', but his mother's support and statements from several women in the past few days motivated him to share his story. Mushtaq is also known to be extremely close to Priyanka Chopra and is seen at almost every gathering of her family, including her recent 'Roka' with Nick Jonas.
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