Author Chetan Bhagat has joined the list of those, currently facing public ire because of their past involvement in sexually harassing women. The screenshots of Bhagat trying to ‘woo’ a girl on WhatsApp went viral in no time, prompting the author to issue a public clarification.
— ? Sheena (@weeny) October 6, 2018
In his clarification, the controversial writer said that the screenshot being shared were real. He also issued an apology to the girl concerned. He wrote, “But first of all, I am really sorry to person concerned. The screenshots, are of course real, and I am sorry if you felt they were wrong I hope you will accept my apology.”
Clarifying further, Bhagat said that these screenshots were several years old adding that he felt a strong connection with the girl in question. He wrote, “Just in terms of more information, these screenshots are several years old, and I had met the person in question a couple of times. We hit it off really well as a friendship, and as I say in the screenshots, I did feel a strong connection with her. I did find her a good human being, sweet, cute and funny (as I also say in the screenshots).”
Bhagat’s name cropped up in the list of alleged sex predators, accused of having sexually harassing girls in the past using their power and fame, hours after filmmaker Vikas Bahl was accused of sexually attacking a female member of his company, Phantom Films. Soon after that revelation was made public, filmmakers Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, Madhu Mantena and Vikas Bahl on Saturday decided to dissolve their production company Phantom Films.
Here’s the full statement by Chetan Bhagat:
I would like to make a couple of points about the screenshots that someone has shared just a couple of hours ago. It has taken me this much time because I saw them a bit late, and then I was in a conversation with Anusha. I am telling you all whatever I told her, which to my recollection is the truth.
But first of all, I am really sorry to person concerned. The screenshots, are of course real, and I am sorry if you felt they were wrong I hope you will accept my apology.
Just in terms of more information, these screenshots are several years old, and I had met the person in question a couple of times. We hit it off really well as a friendship, and as I say in the screenshots, I did feel a strong connection with her. I did find her a good human being, sweet, cute and funny (as I also say in the screenshots).
As I also say in the screenshots, I realized I was married and this was not about looking for any action. I just had not felt that kind of connection in a while. Maybe I was going through a phase, maybe these things just happen, or maybe I felt the person felt the same too based on our conversations (which I don’t need to repeat here). However, it was stupid of me, to feel that way and to even share that with her. I just told Anusha about it as well, and apologized to her for doing the same. I should have had better judgement, but I guess I erred a bit there. Maybe I misread the friendliness. Also, I am not completely sure because it was long ago, but the ‘wooing’ bit may have come from a conversation we had about how nobody woos anyone anymore and how sometimes one misses being wooed. My new book then was also about women (One Indian Girl) and we also discussed wooing and relationships in that context.
Also, I also want to clarify that there never was was nothing physical, no lewd pictures or words that were ever exchanged. I think I deleted the person’s number soon thereafter and we haven’t been in touch for years.
We do feel certain things sometimes, and I did too. I found this person special, and different from all others I had met. I shouldn’t have, and maybe I shouldn’t have shared it with that person in a private conversation either.
Once again, I am sorry to the person concerned, and of course most of all to Anusha. I hope you can forgive me.
For everyone’s information, am running this response past Anusha first, to ensure she is okay with it.