Chunky Panday has defended filmmaker Sajid Khan, who has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women. Calling Khan “a brother,” Pandey said that the filmmaker is often “misunderstood” for being “outspoken.”
He told the media, “The thing is Sajid has always been a very, very outspoken person. He has always been this flamboyant person, what you see is what you get. A lot of people might misunderstand Sajid Khan.”
Khan, during the #MeToo movement in India last year, had been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women. Allegations ranged from lewd comments to exposing himself in front of a journalist, reports the Hindustan Times. Following the allegations, Khan was suspended by the The Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association, and he stepped down as director of ‘Housefull 4,’ which was in production at the time. He was replaced by writer Farhad Samji.
Panday, speaking about the incident, continued, “Sajid just says things for effect, he doesn’t mean them. I know Sajid since childhood. Of course, when these allegations came, it was a shocker to everyone, you know it was the season of MeToo, and everyone was getting exposed. So, we really felt bad. We had no option, the producer had a lot of pressure to drop him from the film (Housefull 4). Luckily, Farhad Samji agreed to do it. It wasn’t easy but full marks to Sajid Nadiadwala for pulling this off. Of course, we felt bad when we lost Sajid.”
After the allegations against the filmmaker were made, Akshay Kumar tweeted that he would not work with “any proven offenders and all those who have been subjugated to harassment should be heard and given the justice they deserve.”
Meanwhile, Khan’s cousin, filmmaker Farhan Akhar had said, “So pretty much on the first day when three women came out and spoke, I felt it was important for me to speak out. Sajid, being my brother, I need to now work with him, try to figure out how he can see this thing through and how it is that he can make the women who have been affected by his actions, somehow feel better.”
Khan is frequently seen at industry events. Recently, he was photographed out for dinner with his sister, Farah Khan, and tennis player Sania Mirza.
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