Filmmaker-actor Rajat Kapoor accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, issues apology on Twitter

Anvisha Manral

Oct,08 2018 09:32:51 IST

Editor's note: Following Rituparna Chatterjee's report — Is India’s #MeToo moment here? Women are angry and they are naming and shaming their abusers — Firstpost will publish a series of articles collating personal accounts of those who have made allegations of harassment, along with responses from those who have been accused of such behaviour. This is an ongoing exercise and will be updated to reflect new developments. If you wish to draw our attention to instances of harassment you may have experienced or witnessed, tweet to us @firstpost with the hashtag #MeToo.

Actor and filmmaker Rajat Kapoor has been accused of behaving inappropriately with three women on three separate accounts. Journalist Sandhya Menon, who has been at the forefront of what is being called India's #MeToo movement, posted screenshots of the messages she had received from multiple women.

One of them is Katherine Filaseta, a US-based actor-filmmaker who has accused Kapoor of harassing her by calling her incessantly after the two met and spoke briefly during a professional meeting.

Rajat Kapoor/Image from Twitter.

Rajat Kapoor/Image from Twitter.

Katherina revealed in a statement to Firstpost, "The night before, after I had already given my contact info to him, we both were drinking, and he kept coming up to me and touching me inappropriately. I kept pulling away and running to people I knew I trusted already, or pushing his hand away, and it kept happening. Over the next 24 hour period starting the next morning, he called me throughout the day from an unknown number (which i never answer), and I found out it was him because he forcibly pulled me away from my job at the festival we were at that night to curse me out for not answering his calls.

I was young. This was in 2013 in NYC and I was 22 or 23 years old. He was twice my age, which made things more uncomfortable and made his anger more threatening. I was young and naive and trying to be an actress at the time, so I felt put in a very awkward position of not wanting to lose this professional connection but also not wanting any of what was happening to happen, so felt pressured to be polite even though I felt I wanted to tell him to f*ck off.

I would be lying if I said this experience didn’t have an impact on my decision to stop pursuing acting. I still work in film, but the reason I stopped pursuing acting was because I felt that I didn’t have it in me to be polite and complicit when men treated me that way, and that as an actress, directors would treat me that way all the time, so I started pursuing other tracks of film pretty much immediately after this knowing that I couldn’t be polite in situations like that anymore."

She also tweeted about the incident:

Sandhya Menon also tweeted another account of harassment two days after the first few allegations surfaced.

In light of these allegations, Kapoor issued an apology on Twitter late night on 7 October.

Network 18, of which Firstpost is a part, has received complaints of sexual harassment as well. The complaints which are within the purview of the workplace have been forwarded to our PoSH committee for appropriate action.

Updated Date: Oct 13, 2018 16:55 PM