Bollywood actress, Flora Saini, is joining the #MeToo movement by bravely sharing her story of assault and harassment and denouncing her abuser, Producer Gaurang Doshi.
With photos to back her claim, Saini (also known by her stage name, Asha Saini) published her traumatic experience in a Facebook post, describing the relationship she shared with Doshi in 2007 and a fractured jaw he gave her on Valentine’s day.
“I realized me talking about it, that time, just went against me, cos he was the powerful one n nobody wanted to believe some girl who was relatively new in the industry, it was his word against mine, and of course, his word mattered,” Saini wrote.
“He threatened me that he will make sure I never work in the industry again n much more.. n he did his best to make me believe it too," the Bollywood actress said.
Saini said she was passed over in auditions and replaced in films over the years, but was inspired by the #MeToo movement and the stories of other women in the industry to make her voice heard.
“This note is for all the people who have chosen to speak who are standing up against anybody who has done them wrong, no matter how powerful or renowned...It takes guts... a lot of guts... the abuser forgets, but the abused carries the baggage forever,” the actress wrote.
The woman’s story received enormous support from the online community, with social media users sending messages of sympathy and strength.
According to a recent interview, Saini explained that she was unable to share the case details as it is still in court. However she was grateful for the flood of messages from women and fellow abuse survivors for their support, something, she said, which was seriously lacking in the film industry.
“U guys make me so proud to b a woman in this industry today where our voice is being heard where people are not judging us for speaking out against an abuser,” Saini wrote.
The #MeToo movement has seen people around the world come forward with cases of sexual mistreatment, leading to the downfall of powerful men across industries, including Kevin Spacey, comedian Bill Cosby, and Producer Harvey Weinstein.