‘Tarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’ Actress Accuses Producer Of Sexual Harassment, TV Show Team Hits Back
Mumbai: Trouble is mounting for Asit Kumar Modi, producer of long-running television soap opera, ‘Tarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’ (TMKOC).
Days after actor Shailesh Lodha filed a case against him for non-payment of dues, actress Jennifer Mistry Bansiwal has accused him and two others of sexual harassment.
Jennifer, who plays the role of Roshan Kaur Sodhi in the show, has filed a complaint of alleged sexual harassment at workplace against Asit, project head Sohail Ramani and executive producer Jatin Baja, according to a report in ETimes.
Asit Modi hit back at Jennifer, saying that legal action will be taken against the actress.
“We will take legal action as she is trying to defame me and the show. Since we terminated her services, she is making these baseless allegations,” Asot claimed.
Jennifer said she stopped shooting for the TV serial – which has been airing on SAB TV since July 2008 — two months ago. She last shot for the show on March 7 and claimed that she had to leave the sets after being insulted by Sohail and Jatin.
Jennifer, who hadn’t spoken about the incident initially, recently revealed that she has left the show and didn’t shoot her last episode of TMKOC on May 6.
“I had to leave the sets as I was subjected to humiliation and insult at the hands of Sohil Ramani and the other executive producer Jatin Bajaj,” she was quoted as saying.
Jennifer, who has also acted in films like ‘Halla Bol’, ‘Luck By Chance’ and ‘Airlift’, claimed that on March 7 — which was her wedding anniversary — she was asked not allowed to leave and the executive producer tried stopping her car.
She told them after having worked on the show for 15 years, they could not stop her. While she was leaving, the actress claimed Sohail threatened her.
“I have filed a case of sexual harassment against Asit Kumar Modi, Sohail Ramani and Jatin Bajaj,” Jennifer said.
The actress sent a notice to Asit, Sohil and Jatin last month, but is yet to receive a reply.
In an interview with Times Now Digital, Jennifer opened up about several incidents that took place in her 15-year stint on the show.
She revealed Asit Modi had asked her to come to his room and insulted her through sexual gestures or words.
“It’s been 15 years, and till when can you mentally and sexually harass us. Being a working woman, I was scared about speaking up about the incidents thinking what will my family, in-laws, society think. I am very grateful to the show, and even Asit Modi that he gave me the opportunity but he thinks himself to be a god. Now, I’ve had enough,” she was quoted as saying in Hindi.
Jennifer even hinted that there are others who feel the same way and have been a target of sexual and mental harassment.
TMKOC Team Stands By Producer
The TMKOC team defended the show’s producers.
“She (Jennifer) lacked basic discipline on the set and was not focusing on her work. We regularly had to complain to the production head about her behaviour. On her last day she was abusive in front of the whole unit and left the set without finishing her shoot,: claimed directors Harshad Joshi, Rushi Dave and Arman.
“She regularly misbehaved on the show with the entire team. While moving out from the shoot, she rashly drove her car out at very high speed not caring for people in her way. She even damaged the set property. We had to terminate her contract because of her bad behaviour and indiscipline during the shoot. During this incident Asit ji was in USA. She is now trying to defame us and the show by making baseless allegations. We have already filed our complaint against these baseless allegations with the concerned authorities,” said Sohail and Jatin.
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