"He has made sexual comments so many times."
Jennifer Mistry Bansiwal has made sexual harassment allegations against the Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah makers after quitting the show.
The actress had played Roshan Daruwala Kaur Sodhi since 2008.
She has accused producer Asit Kumarr Modi, Project Head Sohail Ramani and executive producer Jatin Bajaj of sexual harassment in the workplace.
It was reported that she has not filmed the show in two months, claiming she had to leave the set after being “insulted by Sohail and executive producer Jatin Bajaj”.
Jennifer explained: “Yes, I’ve left the show. It is right that I shot my last episode of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah on March 6 this year.
“I had to leave the sets as I was subjected to humiliation and insult at the hands of Mr Sohil Ramani and the other executive producer Jatin Bajaj.”
Speaking about the last day on the set, Jennifer said:
“It was March 7, my marriage anniversary and Holi when the incident happened.
“I was asked to get off the sets four times by Sohail Ramani and the executive producer tried to stop my car by standing behind it and was not allowing me to leave the sets.
“I told them I worked on the show for 15 years and they couldn’t forcefully stop me and while I was leaving Sohil threatened me.
“I have filed a case of sexual harassment against Asit Kumarr Modi, Sohail Ramani and Jatin Bajaj.”
She went on to say that on the day, they made adjustments for the male actors.
Labelling the set a “male-chauvinistic” place, Jennifer said:
“That’s when I retaliated and Sohail spoke to me rudely asking me to get out almost four times.
“Then the creative person Jatin tried to stop my car. All this is recorded in the CCTV footage.
“This happened on March 7, I thought they would call me. But on March 24, Sohail sent me a notice that I left the shoot and they are losing money.”
She replied to them that she was subjected to sexual harassment but the makers allegedly told Jennifer that she was trying to extort money from them.
According to Jennifer, the matter is being investigated.
On why she did not raise the allegations immediately, Jennifer Mistry Bansiwal said:
“I was quiet for two months and did not tell anyone about this and today also I was not ready to talk because the show has given me everything: name, fame, money and I am very grateful for it.
“But whatever I have gone through in all these years people should know about it. Every person on Taarak Mehta is a bonded labourer.”
Detailing incidents of sexual harassment, she stated:
“There have been multiple incidents when he has tried to flirt with me and have made sexual advances.”
Referring to Asit, she continued:
“When we were shooting in Singapore, it was my marriage anniversary and at night, he told me, ‘Now, your marriage anniversary is over, so there will be no guilt, come and drink whisky in my room’.
“He has made sexual comments so many times.
“Once, he was openly making comments and flirting with me and one of my co-actors handled the situation for me.
“There was also one incident when he called me sexy and pulled my cheeks.
“Asit Modi has made sexual advances towards me many times in the past.
“Initially, I ignored all his statements because of fear of losing out on work. But it is enough now I won’t take it anymore.
“They tried to forcefully stop me on the sets and were shutting the gates and not allowing me to go out.”
“I sent the complaint mail to authorities a month back but haven’t got any revert. I am sure they must be looking into it and working towards the care. I am sure they must be investigating. I have hired a lawyer and I know I will get justice very soon.”
Asit responded to the sexual harassment allegations made by the former Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah actress.
He said: “This is just a fake and baseless allegation and it holds no truth.
“She is just trying to malign my image. This is my genuine reaction and I am not trying to make excuses or cover up.
“Everyone knows how I am in real life. We sacked her from the show and my team.
“My director and the team asked her to leave the show. We have all the proof and I am not talking just randomly.
“My production will soon send you all the proofs and documents.”
In a statement, production house Neela Telefilms said:
“She (Jennifer) lacked basic discipline on the set and was not focusing on her work. We regularly had to complain to the production head about her behaviour.
“On her last day, she was abusive in front of the whole unit and left the set without finishing her shoot.
“She regularly misbehaved on the show with the entire team. While moving out from the shoot, she rashly drove her car out at very high speed not caring for people in her way. She even damaged the set property.
“We had to terminate her contract because of her bad behaviour and indiscipline during the shoot. During this incident, Asit ji was in the US.
“She is now trying to defame us and the show by making baseless allegations.
“We have already filed our complaint against these baseless allegations with the concerned authorities.”