"Hang On To That Dignity": Anurag Kashyap's Ex-Wives Kalki Koechlin And Aarti Bajaj Write Supportive Posts

"You have supported me when I felt unsafe in a work environment even before we got together," tweeted Kalki Koechlin

'Hang On To That Dignity': Anurag Kashyap's Ex-Wives Kalki Koechlin And Aarti Bajaj Write Supportive Posts

A file photograph of Kalki Koechlin and Anurag Kashyap.

Highlights

  • Anurag Kashyap has been accused of sexual harassment
  • "Don't let this social media circus get to you," tweeted Kalki
  • Anurag Kashyap's first wife Aarti Bajaj also defended the filmmaker
New Delhi:

Anurag Kashyap's ex-wives Kalki Koechlin and Aarti Bajaj defended the filmmaker after he was hit by allegations of sexual harassment over the weekend. Actress Kalki Koechlin, who was married to Mr Kashyap from 2011 to 2015, and Aarti Bajaj, Mr Kashyap's wife from 2003 to 2009, both shared supportive posts on social media. Anurag Kashyap has been accused of sexual misconduct by an actress, which he denies. In her post, Kalki Koechlin wrote, "Dear Anurag, Don't let this social media circus get to you. You have fought for the freedom of women in your own scripts, you've defended their integrity in your professional space as well as your personal life."

Kalki, who made her Bollywood debut in Anurag Kashyap's 2009 film DevD and has worked with the filmmaker in several projects, including That Girl In Yellow Boots and Netflix's Sacred Games 2, wrote citing her personal experiences with the director, " I have been a witness to it. In the personal and professional space, you have always seen me as your equal, you have stood up for my integrity even after our divorce, and you have supported me when I felt unsafe in a work environment even before we got together."

Kalki Koechlin, who shares a cordial relationship with her ex-husband, signed off the note saying, "Love from an ex-wife." She wrote, "This strange time where everyone gets to abuse one another and make false claims without any repercussions is a dangerous and repulsive one. It is destroying families, friends and countries. But there is a place of dignity that exists beyond this virtual blood bath, a place of you, a place of being kind even when no one is looking, and I know that you are very familiar with that place. Hang on to that dignity, stay strong and keep doing the work you do."

Read Kalki's post here:

On Sunday, Anurag Kashyap's first wife and editor Aarti Bajaj shared an extensive note on her Instagram handle, where she summed up her equation with the director, highlighting both the personal as well as professional facets. "First wife here... You are a rockstar, Anurag Kashyap. Keep empowering women as you do and the safest place you create for all of them. I see it first hand with our daughter (their daughter Aaliyah Kashyap)."

She added, "There is no integrity left and the world is full of losers and no brains baying for blood of anyone who has a voice. If everybody spends the energy which they use in hating others constructively this world will be a better place. Cheapest stunt I have seen till now. First it made me angry then I laughed so hard as it cannot come more framed then this. I am sorry that you have to go through this .That's the level of them. You stay high and keep using your voice. We love you."

Personal relations aside, the women from the film industry who have starred in Anurag Kashyap's directorial projects also spoke up against the claims and they shared their experience of working with the filmmaker. "For you, my friend, are the biggest feminist I know. See you on the sets soon of yet another piece of art that shows how powerful and significant women are in the world you create," wrote Taapsee Pannu, who starred in Anurag Kashyap's Marmarziyaan.

Sacred Games star Radhika Apte wrote these words: "You have always treated me as an equal and I cherish the mutual love and respect we have for each other. I have always felt immensely secure in your presence since the day I've known you."

In a recent interview with ABN Telugu, the actress accusing Anurag Kashyap alleged that he "forced himself" on her. Responding to her allegations, Anurag Kashyap issued a lawyer's statement, an excerpt from which read, "It is sad that a social movement as important as the #MeToo movement has been co-opted by vested interests and reduced to a mere tool for character assassination. Fictitious allegations of this nature seriously undermine the movement and seek to consciously trade upon the pain and trauma of actual victims of sexual harassment and abuse."

Back in 2018, when the #MeToo movement gained momentum in Bollywood, and filmmaker Vikas Bahl's name was implicated, Anurag Kashyap, co-founder of the production house Phantom Films (along with Vikas Bahl, Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena), dissolved the company.

In terms of work, Anurag Kashyap, a TIFF veteran, has been invited as one of the top 50 ambassadors at the Toronto Film Fest, this year. Other famous ambassadors for this year include the likes of Priyanka Chopra, Martin Scorsese, Taika Waititi, Nicole Kidman, Rosamund Pike, Alfonso Cuaron and Riz Ahmed.