- Author Chetan Bhagat accused of sexual harassment
- Woman exposes WhatsApp chat on social media
- May have "misread" the friendliness, says Chetan Bhagat in apology note
Author Chetan Bhagat has publicly apologised after an unnamed woman blew the whistle on him on a WhatsApp thread on sexual harassment. The thread, which comes in the wake of a #MeToo movement in the country, has various women speaking up about the harassment they faced from various public figures.
In a couple of screenshots of a WhatApp chat with Chetan Bhagat which the woman shared, the author has written that he was trying to "woo" her. The woman, clearly uncomfortable, indicated her disinterest and pointed out that he was married.
In his Facebook message posted yesterday, Chetan Bhagat admitted that he indeed had such a conversation and apologized to the woman as well as his wife Anusha Bhagat. He also wrote that he was writing the message after discussing the matter with his wife.
"The screenshots, are of course real, and I am sorry if you felt they were wrong I hope you will accept my apology... Just in terms of more information, these screenshots are several years old, and I had met the person in question a couple of times. We hit it off really well as a friendship, and as I say in the screenshots, I did feel a strong connection with her. I did find her a good human being, sweet, cute and funny (as I also say in the screenshots)," his Facebook post read.
A best-selling author, Mr Bhagat said he may have "misread" the friendliness and "was going through a phase." He goes on to clarify that there was "nothing physical, no lewd pictures or words that were ever exchanged."
The naming and shaming in #MeToo has singed many in the entertainment and media industry since actor Tanushree Dutta accused Nana Patekar of sexual harassment and AIB comic Utsav Chakroborty was called out by many women.
Ms Dutta has filed a complaint with Mumbai's Oshiwara police station yesterday. The police however, are yet to confirm if a First Information Report or FIR has been registered.
Actor Kangana Ranaut spoke up in support of the woman who accused director Vikas Bahl of sexual harassment and said she also faced harassment from him.
In a recent interview with India Today, the 31-year-old actor said when they met socially and hugged, the director would "hold her really tight" and "smell" her hair.
"It took me great amount of strength and effort to pull myself out of his embrace... I could tell something is wrong with him," Kangana Raunat told India Today.