"We all thought that he is some big shot"
Actress Shruti Gera has opened up on exploitation within Bollywood, saying that drugging and blackmailing young actors to do compromising things is common.
Her comments come after businessman Raj Kundra was arrested for allegedly making and distributing pornographic films.
Shruti revealed that she was approached by casting directors in 2018 for a web series that was produced by Raj.
She said that she refused the offer.
Shruti said: “I don’t remember exactly which casting director mentioned it to me but at least a few did.
“One mentioned they could introduce me to Raj Kundra, another said this guy intends to start a production house and he is coming in the webspace in a big way.
“I said no to it immediately. But I am more grateful that I kept myself safe.
“We all thought that he is some big shot but turns out he is a person who does porn films.”
Shruti went on to say people should not blame new actors and models when they do not realise someone has bad intentions.
She continued: “Imagine someone like me who has done several hundreds of TV commercials with the biggest brands out there and a casting guy has the audacity to approach someone like me.
“When the news came out, I felt like someone punched in the stomach that how dare someone think that I would be open to do such a thing.”
She went on to talk about the negative side of Bollywood.
“I realised that a lot goes on here in the industry.
“Young female actors are drugged, their compromising videos are shot and through that people blackmail them and pimp them out. It is very common.
“Even young male actors face this. They do a lot of things, they honey trap and they make you vulnerable.
“I have walked out of projects when I realised that the makers had ill intentions.”
“But it is always not that easy.
“They also put cameras in your room and shoot something and then blackmail you with it and force an actor to do something that they don’t want to.”
Shruti Gera has mostly done adverts and they were funded by corporate money, “as opposed to mafia money in Bollywood”.
She criticised Bollywood’s dubious casting process, stating that while auditions are the right way for casting, they mostly happen for adverts or for supporting roles in films.
“The main leads are hardly ever auditioned unless it’s an all-new cast in a film which is rare.
“Even for the big banner films the main cast is always decided and they hunt just to fill up roles.
“Things are changing slowly now but films are known to be ventured into via socialising, meetings and contacts, making it a grey area and models/actors are susceptible to exploitation be it male or females.”