Subhash Ghai, Anees Bazmee in casting couch scandal
Dear Mr Bollywood, a book that is being circulated at the ongoing MAMI Festival has stirred up a controversy in the film industry.
The author, Jerusalem-born, New York-raised Rina Golan, has named industry veterans Subhash Ghai, Anup Jalota, Anees Bazmee and even Dr Ali Irani in her 119-page biography, where she claims they have all asked her for sexual favours in passages that are not fit to print in this publication for their explicit content.
When Mumbai Mirror got in touch with all four of them, they denied the allegations vehemently, with some of them rubbishing the book as a cheap publicity trick and others even denying having met her.
Golan claims that her love for Bollywood has not diminished because of her experiences. “My book is about Shah Rukh Khan. I needed to reach out to him. I fell in love with India, Bollywood and SRK,” said Rina, adding, “Yes, I have had some good and some bad experiences in the industry. But that is life. None of this has changed my feelings about the country. I still love India, Bollywood and Shah Rukh Khan.”
Golan however says her book is not just about the casting couch but also about “Courage, honesty and integrity,” and that she intends to find her “dream life” in the city.
Though Golan claims she is “scared” she is also busy promoting her book among the very people she has named in her story.
Golan about Dr Ali Irani:
Surprisingly, he leaned over and … I was disgusted.
“What are you doing? I am not your girlfriend…”
“Then why don’t you be my girlfriend?”
“You are too old for me.”
Doctor Ali was in his fifties.
“If you are my girlfriend, I could open a lot of doors for you and help you make all your dreams come true.”
Dr Ali Irani’s response:
SRK sent her to me as she needed some financial help. SRK had deposited some money with us to treat patients when they come to him. However, when she came to me, she wanted money for her education and not for treatment. I never introduced her to anyone. I told her that we can’t help her and that’s about it. She can write whatever she wishes and I have got nothing to do with it.
Golan about Subhash Ghai:
“I want you to trust me and surrender to me completely. I will take you around with me everywhere and you will see how your life will change,” he said.
Subhash took me to the bedroom … I decided to change my normal approach and abandon my principles. But there was no way I could fool myself. If I had made it this far without giving in to some powerful … guy offering to help me then why should I give up now?
Subhash Ghai’s response:
I am not aware of any book like this and can’t recall this name. If you say that derogatory things have been said by her about me, it’s her choice. In our profession we do get bouquets and bricks all the time from known and unknown both. We can’t even react.
Golan about Anees Bazmee:
“I’m going to come over and we are just going to eat, nothing else?”
“No, we will also have fun,” he said. In an instant, all my respect for him had turned into disgust. Anees was no longer a cool director. He was just another powerful guy wanting to take advantage of me just because he supposedly was in a higher position.
“I have no problem coming for dinner and hanging out with you, but I will not do anything else,” I said.
“I don’t believe in doing what you are offering. I have a God that is watching me.”
Anees Bazmee’s response:
I have never even heard the name of this girl. It is the cheapest level of publicity that anyone can get and I have been in the industry for 35 years. I have never ever been accused of anything like this before. Neither am I aware of any such book nor do I know this girl. If she says that she met me during the shoot of my film Thank You, then there are at least 200 people on the sets of my film. And whenever anyone comes to meet us, we meet all of them with utmost love and respect. I think it is in very bad taste and an attempt to malign my reputation.
Golan about Anoop Jalota:
Anup said. “You don’t have to worry. You are not alone anymore. From now on you will be part of our music group.” Just when I was beginning to trust him and let my guard down he broke his promise. When we were flying to different shows around India, Anup would always make sure that we were sitting together on the airplane. I would have preferred to sit with the other musicians. But he always insisted that I sit next to him.
He asked me if I knew that his wife was very sick. I told him that I knew. She’d had a heart transplant and nowshe needed a kidney transplant. …
Anup claimed that since I was such a good friend he could confide in me. “I’m thinking about cheating on my wife. … Why was he doing this?
Anoop Jalota’s response:
Jab aise logo ko kuch milta nahi hai to who yes sab bakvas likhte hai. I have just come back from Israel after doing a show. I am not denying the fact that I know this girl. She had worked and done many shows with me as a chorus singer.
She used to also play key board and she played that as well. I think she was a part of my group 2-3 years back and she was here to start some business. But I guess that didn’t happen and she left. I have not even spoken to her in the last 2-3 years.”
When asked Jalota about the fact that he discussed his wife’s health and his personal life with her, he said, “Everyone is aware of my wife’s health and it is a no secret. Sari duniye meri wife ki problem ke bare mein janti hai.”