- Alok Nath allegedly lunged at Sandhya Mridul in a hotel room
- "I was a huge fan of this wonderful Babuji," she said
- "Alok Nath tried to grab me," Alok Nath added
Actress Sandhya Mridul is the second woman to have accused Alok Nath of sexual harassment and misconduct. Days after writer-producer Vinta Nanda's harrowing ordeal of alleged rape shocked social media, Mr Nath has been named and shamed by Ms Mridul in a lengthy post on Twitter. Sandhya Mridul, best-known for her work in TV series like Swabhimaan and Koshish, details how thrilled she was to be cast in a telefilm with Alok Nath - she played his daughter and was, then, a fan of this 'wonderful bapuji.' Shooting began on set in Kodaikanal, and bapuji soon revealed a murkier allegedly alcohol-fuelled side.
Sandhya Mridul's full post is below - like Vinta Nanda's account, it is deeply detailed. She writes of how Alok Nath's alleged behaviour began making her feel uncomfortable after a cast and crew dinner and then how he would try and force his way into her hotel room where, Ms Mridul says, he lunged at her, screaming, "I want you, you are mine."
When she began locking her door, Alok Nath allegedly began calling Sandhya Mridul on the hotel phone. Desperate, Ms Mridul had her hairdresser move into her room with her and could barely shoot. She also reveals how, one day, Mr Nath allegedly confessed to having ruined his life and family by drinking to excess and promised to go into therapy.
Ms Mridul recalls her co-star Reema Lagoo, who played her mother, and others on the unit helping her through the traumatic shoot. But was shocked to find on her return to Mumbai that Alok Nath had allegedly spread the word that she was difficult to work with - something Vinta Nanda says he did with her as well.
"Mr Alok Nath, you know this to be true. As do few others," Sandhya Mridul writes, "I stand by you Vinta. What I went through is nothing compared to you. More power to you. To us all. I am certain there are others. I urge you to come forward. Your time is up sir."
Read her post:
After Vinta Nanda's gut-wrenching account, actress Navneet Nishan said in a statement she had dealt with 'four years of harassment' by slapping Alok Nath, whom she didn't name. Ms Nanda's account included details of how Mr Nath had harassed Ms Nishan on the sets of 90s TV show Tara. Social media also dug out a 1994 India Today report about Navneet Nishan suing Alok Nath for Rs 1 crore for alleged harassment.
A woman, speaking to mid-day anonymously, has accused Alok Nath of stripping in front of her on the set of Hum Saath Saath Hain, just one of the actor's many screen outings as the 'sanskaari bapuji.'
Tara actor Deven Bhojani, who was cast on the show after Alok Nath exited it, told Zoom TV: "He is a nice person during the day but after evening, when he drinks, he gets crazy. He abuses, he gets into fights and does all sorts of things."
Alok Nath could face an official complaint if Vinta Nanda decides to file charges - she has been assured full support from the Cine And TV Artistes Association. His lawyer said today that the actor will sue Ms Nanda for defamation, news agency ANI reports. Mr Nath told ABP News that he can 'neither deny nor agree with' Ms Nanda's account.
Both Vinta Nanda and Sandhya Mridul have credited Tanushree Dutta for motivating them to come forward with their stories. Two weeks ago, Ms Dutta accused anew Nana Patekar of harassing her on the sets of a 2008 film. It was the first of many #MeToo stories that have emerged, many of them on social media. Actor Rajat Kapoor, singer Kailash Kher and filmmaker Vikas Bahl have also been outed as alleged predators.
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