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#MeTooIndia: Former Miss India, Actor Niharika Singh opens up about ex-boyfriend Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sajid Khan, Bhushan Kumar

The #MeToo waves are not settling down in B-town. The latest revelations come from former Miss India 2005 and actress Niharika Singh. She has penned down a long open letter about the #MeToo movement, sharing her own experiences. The former actress has mentioned ex-boyfriend Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sajid Khan, Bhushan Kumar in her long post.

Her post was shared on social media by author-journalist Sandhya Menon in a series of tweets. Menon captioned her post, “2005 Miss India Niharika Singh’s experiences in Bollywood but especially with Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Mayank Singh Singvi. Niharika and other women accused Siddiqui of making up lies in his autobiography, due to which he withdrew the book. This is her side of the story.”

Mentioning about her ex-boyfriend Nawazuddin Siddiqui, whom she met on the sets of the film, Miss Lovely, Niharika writes, “One morning, when I was home and he had been shooting all night, Nawaz sent me a text saying he was near my building. I invited him over and asked him to come and have breakfast with me. When I opened the door, he grabbed me. I tried to push him away but he wouldn’t let go. After a little coercion, I finally gave in. I wasn’t sure what to make of this relationship. He told me it was his dream to have a Miss India or an actress wife, just like Paresh Rawal and Manoj Bajpayee. I found his little confession funny but endearing”.

She further stated about Nawazudin Siddiqui’s memoir, and how the media chose to sensationalise Nawazuddin’s fabricated account about his relationship with her while Penguin Random House remained silent.

She wrote, “In 2017, Nawazuddin Siddiqui wrote a memoir called ‘An ordinary life’, with writer Rituparna Chatterjee, which was published by Penguin Random House. Under the title ‘Relationships’, he wrote a completely fabricated account of our relationship without my knowledge or consent. Before the book launch, publicists leaked sensational excerpts to garner interest in the book. A senior theatre and television actress Sunita Rajwar who had known Nawaz since her NSD days confirmed his ‘extraordinary lies’ and filed a case. He offered a token social media apology withdrawing the book. I ordered the book online a week later and it was delivered to my house. Director Anurag Kashyap, Nawaz’s mentor and close collaborator who chose to turn a blind eye towards sexual harassment within his own company, continues to support Nawaz and his story. Writer Rituparna Chatterjee with her completely unethical, defamatory and poorly researched book is not apologetic either.”

Mentioning about the filmmaker Bhushan Kumar, the former actress revealed, “Bhushan Kumar called me to his office to sign ‘A New Love Ishtory’ where he gave me an envelope as a signing amount for the film. It contained two 500 Rupee notes (less than 14$). I got a text from him later that night- ‘I would love to know you more. Let’s get together sometime.’ I wrote back saying- ‘Absolutely! Let’s go on a double date. You bring your wife. I’ll bring my boyfriend.’ He never wrote to me again”.

The long posts by the former Miss India 2005, seems to look like an auto biography. She has also revealed her Dalit identity and how one’s caste background, economic conditions and political affiliations determined the extent of abuse that a person went through. She also states about growing up in a home where everyday violence was normalized.

Niharika has also mentioned about Sajid Khan who is also accused of sexual harassment, she wrote, “Filmmaker Sajid Khan, who I met a couple of times while he was dating an actress I knew years ago, made a few predictions when a close friend of ours was opening her second restaurant,‘This place will shut down within a year, mark my words.’ To his actress girlfriend he said, ‘She won’t survive a day without me in Bollywood’. ‘And this one’, looking at me straight, will soon commit suicide! My restaurateur friend is opening her fourth restaurant. It is difficult to get a table at the other three. The actress’ career skyrocketed after she dumped the filmmaker and I, have managed to stay alive”.

She has slammed feminists in India who are from privileged backgrounds and protect predators in their own social circles. Concluding her long post, Niharika writes, “Women in power like Nandita Das and Kavita Krishnan have all shown professional and political allegiance with predators and enabled them through their silence or solidarity. Lending their voices to ‘survivors’ of the #Metoo movement now only comes across as fraudulent. Women in this country will continue to be gaslit, exploited and maligned; their dreams thwarted, voices silenced, bodies assaulted and histories erased”.

Saman Siddiqui

Saman Siddiqui, A freelance journalist with a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication and MS in Peace and Conflict Studies. Associated with the media industry since 2006. Experience in various capacities including Program Host, Researcher, News Producer, Documentary Making, Voice Over, Content Writing Copy Editing, and Blogging, and currently associated with OyeYeah since 2018, working as an Editor.

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