Actress Rani Mukherjee this week briefly caused a MeToo scare when she announced that Karan Johar Johar had ‘harassed’ her during the shooting of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. This was during a star-studded party on Tuesday to mark the completion of 20 years since Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.
Some of the top names from Bollywood were in attendance in the party, whose headline guests were the three lead protagonists from the 1998 blockbuster. Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Rani Mukherjee dazzled as they posed for overzealous photographers.
Later, all three sat down for an informal conversation with Karan Johar, who had to wear his Koffee With Karan’s hat to moderate the session. Recounting her experience while shooting the film, Kajol showered praises on Rani. She said, “Let me just tell you something about Rani. I have to say that one thing she never asked for was help. She came, she stood in front of all of us, in front Shah Rukh Khan, me and Karan.
“She may have been nervous off-screen but never showed it on-screen, stood over there, gave her shot, wore the shortest skirt. Like a star, walked across the whole of that mind-blowing college that nobody ever knew existed.”
Rani responded saying that ‘I love you Kajol didi and I love you Shah Rukh and Karan Johar.”
It was then Rani’s turn to reminisce her own memorable moments from the shooting of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. While she thanked Karan Johar for all the help and providing conducive atmosphere to a newcomer like her, she also ‘accused’ the celebrated filmmaker of harassing her.
No sooner did she use the word ‘harass,’ the audience went into a tizzy, albeit briefly with some even muttering the word MeToo.
She said, “He has harassed me in the movie. He harassed me because he snatched my plate of food, which I was eating in the morning. I remember Manish and Karan walking by. And they looked me and yelled, ‘What, you can’t eat that. Remove your hands from the plate.’ And they snatched my plate.”
Although used the word ‘I was harassed’ in jest to recount a prank that Karan and Manish Malhotra may have played on her, the shocked reaction from the audience was telling. That’s because Bollywood has been rocked by allegations of sexual harassment against many to names including Alok Nath, Sajid Khan, Rajat Kapoor, Nana Patekar, Vivek Malhotra and Kailash Kher. On Tuesday, the Yash Raj Film had sacked its casting head Ashish Patil after an unknown woman accused him of rape.