"He said it in front of everybody"
Neena Gupta has revealed that a “big” director once made a crude comment about her after she refused to perform sexual favours for him.
The actress made the revelation in her autobiography Sach Kahun Toh.
Neena explained that he made the comment in front of other people, leaving her enraged.
In the book, she wanted to name and shame the director, but her friends advised her not to.
She also said that she did not name him in the book as the publishers warned her of legal consequences if she did so.
Neena revealed that she kept quiet about the incident at the time because she was a “struggling actor” and people would not believe her if she spoke against more “popular” people.
She explained: “This film director told me in front of everybody, ‘If you don’t use things, they begin to rust’ because I was not sleeping with him.
“I kind of refused indirectly. He said it in front of everybody, all the actors and everybody.”
The director’s comments left her furious as Neena elaborated:
“I was very angry. I came back and told my friends, ‘I want to tell the press that this is what he said to me’.
“And my friends said, ‘Who will listen to you? He is a big name. Nobody will listen to you. What’s the point? Your name will only be besmirched’.
“Even then, I told somebody and then he said some very nasty things about me.”
“Then, my friends said, ‘See, this is what is going to happen. It will become very dirty. So, just keep quiet. When your time comes, you say’.
“This is my time so I am saying it.”
In the book, Neena Gupta also spoke about Bollywood’s casting couch, admitting that it exists but she has never experienced it.
However, Neena recalled an incident where a producer asked for sexual favours in exchange for a film role.
In the book, she detailed: “One day, a friend told me to go visit a producer who was a big shot in the south.
“He was visiting for a few days and was staying at the Sun-n-Sand hotel.
“When I got to the hotel, I called the producer from a phone in the lobby. ‘Yes, yes, I’ve been expecting you,’ he said. ‘Come on upstairs.’
“So, what’s my role, sir? I asked him finally when he paused to catch his breath. ‘The heroine’s friend,’ he said.
“When he explained it to me, it seemed like a very small part. ‘Ok … I have to go now, sir’ I said, ‘My friends are waiting for me.’….’Go? Where? he asked. He seemed genuinely shocked. Aren’t you going to spend the night here?'”
Sach Kahun Toh explores Neena’s life, from her childhood in Delhi, to moving to Mumbai in the 1980s and her struggle to find work.
The book also touches upon her daughter Masaba Gupta and her resurgence in Bollywood.