19-year-old Dombivli-based model and Tamil actress Mahima Singh aka Priti who was selected as one of the finalists at the Ms Maharashtra Online 2017 pageant, in a shocking interview to IndiaScribes.com revealed that an award-winning Bollywood director who has won national awards for his films molested her and attempted to rape her in his office, where she had gone to meet him for an audition.
“A casting director friend of mine told me that Mr X (name withheld by IndiaScribes.com) was casting for a new medium-budget Bollywood film. As I am interested in doing Bollywood films – Mahima Singh has signed on two Tamil projects to be produced by director Suneet Vohra of Tribhuvan Trilok Films – I sent him (casting director) my photographs and profile. After 2 or 3 days, I got a call from this casting director, who said that I was shortlisted by Mr X for a project and that he wanted to personally audition me in his office. My joy knew no bounds and I went to meet him on the appointed day at his Yari Road, Versova office. When I was in his office, he told me he wanted to see my figure and asked me to take my outer clothes off. I refused, as I was in my periods and I was not feeling very comfortable in that place. At that point in time, he came towards me and tried to kiss me. He then touched me inappropriately on different parts of my body, including my bust and behind. I managed to free myself from his clutches and rushed towards the door. He tried to follow me, but I opened the door and rushed out. Two male staff who were sitting in his office, looked and me and turned away, as though they were used to this spectacle. I ran out of his office and hailed an auto-rickshaw and rushed home. I was mentally and emotionally disturbed and did not speak to anyone for two days. Later on, I told my director-friend Suneet Vohra who asked me to narrate my story to the news website IndiaScribes.com,” said the beleaguered actress.
However, when IndiaScribes.com contacted the accused Bollywood director he denied all the allegations. “I did not touch her at all. There are CCTV cameras installed in my office and cabin. It was made very clear to those coming for audition that the role required them to wear a bikini and that they would have to audition in a bikini or at least provide natural, unedited photographs in a bikini. The concerned girl came to my cabin totally unprepared. When she said she was not ready to pose in a bikini, I told her that we cannot consider her for the film as there were bikini scenes and the script and role which she was auditioning for required the actor to wear a bikini. If she was not comfortable with a bikini scene, she should not have come for the audition. We make films running into several crore. The films have to be sale able. Why would I want to cast a total newcomer if the project was not economically feasible,” the director asked?
A manager in the director’s office also alleged that the girl was making up a story to get famous. Why didn’t she go to the police immediately, if my boss (the film director in the office) molested her. Why has she gone to the press,” he questioned.
However, Mahima Singh has denied all these rebuttals and said the director was only trying to save his skin. “He touched and tried to fondle my breasts and pinched my bottom and even tried to put his hand inside my pants and unzip my pants. This is a clear case of molestation and attempted rape. I pushed him away forcefully and ran out of the room. If I had not to resist, he would have taken off my clothes. I do not know about any CCTV camera in his room. As far as I know, there was no CCTV camera visible inside the cabin. If there was a hidden camera, he is guilty of filming the act and has committed one more crime. I am not filing a police complaint right now only because of family issues and as I have my MBA exams. I am now grounded at home as my parents have strictly told me not go for any auditions alone. He has money, influence and power. He can bring up a hundred witnesses against me,” she said.
She stated that she does not want to file a police complaint due to certain personal, family and financial constraints, but wants to speak out about it publicly. “I am not ashamed of what happened to me, I want people to know that I was a victim of molestation by a famous Bollywood director. Everyone knows who is the national award-winning director with an office in Yari Road, Versova. I want young girls like me to be wary of this person and never meet him alone,” she told IndiaScribes.com.
Mahima was selected for the Ms Maharashtra Online 2017 after she bagged the maximum number of votes in the online voting category which includes votes, shares, LIKES and comments posted by friends and fans on Facebook.
Two other models – one from Pune Sheila Jain and another from Aurangabad Simran Basu were selected as the second and third runners up respectively, according to the organisers of the event – Mistletoe Entertainment.
According to an interview with news portal, IndiaScribes.com, Mahima is keen on taking up acting as a career and has decided to join a professional acting course very soon. Speaking to IndiaScribes.com from Dombivli, Mahima said, “I want to pursue a career in acting. Acting has always been my dream.
Mahima has done several print catalog shoots and other local films over the last several years. Mahima was also voted the selfie queen in a sub-contest.