A woman who was allegedly approached by businessman and actor Shilpa Shetty’s husband Raj Kundra’s close aide for a “nude audition” has given a statement to reporters claiming harassment over a video call.
The model and actor has demanded a strict investigation against Mr Kundra, who was arrested for his alleged connection in producing pornographic films.
The actor alleged that Umesh Kamat, who she said is the 45-year-old businessman’s personal assistant, had contacted her for an acting role in a web series.
The woman alleged that Kamat took her audition over a video call – during the lockdown – with another man who had his face covered. She claims it could have been Raj Kundra.
The model alleged that Kamat asked her to undress during the audition, saying he would “make her successful”.
Shocked, she had declined the proposition.
“Now that Raj Kundra has been arrested, strict investigation must be conducted against him,” she said, and appealed to the courts and Mumbai Police for a proper investigation against the businessman, his family and associates.
Calling Mr Kundra just a “pawn”, she claimed there are several people involved in various such cases.
“Women are approached for acting roles in web series which would soon turn to bikini shoots, bold shoots and eventually nude shoots. Scared to be pushed out of Bollywood, most women fall prey to the scandal,” she adds. Many, she claims, get pushed into prostitution.
Actor Poonam Pandey too said she has filed cases against Raj Kundra for alleged theft and fraud in 2019.
“My heart goes out to Shilpa Shetty and her kids; I can’t imagine what she must be going through. So I refuse to use this opportunity to highlight my trauma,” Ms Pandey said in a video statement.
Raj Kundra is allegedly involved in the streaming of pornographic videos through an app called “Hotshots”, the Mumbai Police told a court on Tuesday, a day after arresting him. He was sent to police custody till Friday in the scandal.
The police described Mr Kundra as “key conspirator” in the case and said it had sufficient evidence against him. The police have clarified that investigations have revealed no active role of Shilpa Shetty.
Eleven people have been arrested so far in the case. Mr Kundra’s close aide Ryan Thorpe, who looked after his company’s IT, was arrested on Tuesday.
Actor Gehna Vasisth, out on bail, said she was wrongly arrested in the case.
“Those videos are just adult videos – erotica. None of them fall under the category of porn,” she insists.
The actor also added that her phones and laptop have been seized and bank accounts frozen. “Only I know what I am going through. It’s been six months now, I have forgotten how to live,” she said in a video.
The case was registered on February 4 after a woman approached the police and complained about being forced to do a porn film after being promised an acting job, a police officer quoted by PTI said.