Actor Elnaaz Norouzi who previously starred in Pakistani film ‘Maan Jao Na’ has accused Bollywood director Vipul Amrutlal Shah of sexual harassment. The Iranian model-turned-actor says Vipul made sexual advances towards her while ‘auditioning’ her for a role in ‘Namaste England’.
She wrote in a long account published in Mid-Day She said she met Vipul during [the pre-production of the film Namaste England. Her manager informed her that she could be cast as the second lead since Jacqueline Fernandes had let it pass.
The actress says that the Bollywood director took several auditions of her but kept postponing the contract. “I met him again in his office, and again he mentioned, “We will sign the papers over the next couple of days.” This time, when we were saying bye, he came on to me. It was too close for comfort. I didn’t get the right vibe. He gave a peck on my face. I didn’t expect it,” she said.
Elnaaz said Vipul took another audition but still did not tell her the story of the film. “He said, “Come to my room. I will make you hear the script.” At this point, he touched my butt, and dragged me towards himself. I dodged him, went to my room, and sat there wondering if I should just give in,” she said.
Elnaaz was then signed for Netflix’s Sacred Games. “He said that he would launch me in a big way. It was a girl-next-door part in Namaste England, and that he was clear he would not be able to cast me, as a result of Sacred Games, and that I should skip the offer, since they would make me do nude scenes,” she revealed.
Elnaaz says it was ‘evident’ that Vipul wanted sexual favours from her in exchange of a role in his film. “I was mentally tortured for three months. It was evident that if I slept with Vipul, I would get the part. Every time I went to his office, he tried (to hit) on me. He (would) inappropriately touch me, and (try to) kiss me,” she added.
She also cleared that she didn’t report him to the police as she is not an Indian national and she feared the police complaint might create further hurdles for her.
However, she has decided to share her story now so that ‘disgusting people stop misusing their power’.