Fatima Sana Shaikh: Was molested at the age of 3; was told I can get work only through sex

Updated: 31 October, 2020 12:07 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Fatima Sana Shaikh revealed that she was sexually molested at the tender age of three. She recalled the horrific incident in an interview

Fatima Sana Shaikh. Image sourced from mid-day archives
Fatima Sana Shaikh. Image sourced from mid-day archives

The casting couch is a dark and depressing reality of the Hindi film industry that has time and again exposed the grime tucked beneath the glamour. Some of the most successful actors and actresses have gone through this horrific process and exposed this brutal truth.

Fatima Sana Shaikh recently revealed that she was sexually molested at the tender age of three. She recalled the horrific incident in an interview with Pinkvilla. She said, "I was molested when I was just three years old. There is a stigma around the whole sexual abuse issue, which is why women don't open up about being exploited in life. But I hope, today the world changes. There is more awareness and education about it. Pehle toh yehi kaha jaata tha that don't speak about it. People will think about it differently."

Recalling her casting couch experience, the Dangal actress said, "Of course, I have faced the casting couch. I have been in situations where I have been told that the only way I get the job is by having sex. There are several times people have taken away work from me. There have also been times where I knew I was doing a film and I was replaced because of someone's reference."

Fatima isn't the only actress who has faced the horror of the casting couch. In a recent interview, Upasana Singh shared her experience. She is known for her roles in hit films of the 90s like Judaai, Mr and Mrs Khiladi, Sarfarosh, Deewana Mastana, and so many more. She said, "In this industry, there are girls who are willing to compromise. I find it weird when I hear actresses say they were forced. No one forces you, you make a choice. Once a famous South Indian producer propositioned me and called me to his office late at night. I banged the phone on him and the next morning, barged into his office and screamed at him. He was shocked. I've left films as I never compromised. I believe if you have talent, you will get work and I always got a lot of good work."

Also Read: When A Casting Director Asked Ayushmann Khurrana To Show His 'Tool' To Get The Role

Popular television actress Rashami Desai had also faced casting couch issues early in her career. Recalling the incident in an interview, she said, "I still remember that I was told if you don't go through casting couch, you won't get work. His name is Suraj and I don't know where he's now. First time we met, he asked me about my statistics and I didn't know what it meant back then. I told him I don't know and he knew that she's completely unaware of things. He was the first person who tried taking advantage of me and tried to molest me in some or the other way."

She added, "One day, he called me for an audition and I was all excited. There were no cameras and he tried his level best to spike my drink and get me unconscious. I kept saying I don't want to do. Somehow, he wanted to psych my mind. From there, I managed to come out after two and a half hours and I told my mother everything. Next day, we went to meet him again and this time, my mother slapped him."

It really takes a lot of courage for a celebrity to come out in the open and talk about the dark days of his or her life.

Talking about Fatima Sana Shaikh, the actress was last seen in the 2018-film Thugs of Hindostan. She will be next seen in Ludo and Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari.

Also Read: Fatima Sana Shaikh: After Thugs Of Hindostan, I Felt My Career Was Over

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First Published: 31 October, 2020 07:19 IST

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