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Farah Khan on Harvey Weinstein and sexual abuse in Bollywood

The director comes clean about why she posted a picture of the Hollywood mogul and how sexual abuse claims can be ‘dangerous’

13:51 November 14, 2017

What was Bollywood director Farah Khan thinking when she posted a picture of herself with disgraced Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein on her Twitter account last week?

The picture, which unleashed a torrent of comments from her fans, was accompanied by a caption claiming that she was giving him gyaan or lessons.

It didn’t mean anything, said the director in an interview with Gulf News tabloid! in Dubai on Monday evening.

“He had come on the sets of Main Hoon Na. It was just a throwback picture. I was trying to get a picture of Om Shanti Om since we are celebrating 10 years this year. He was extremely nice and was very impressed with what we were doing. But it’s upsetting to hear all that is going on,” said Khan.

More than 60 women have come forward with claims that the movie producer used his position of power to sexually assault or harass them.

While Khan’s post might have been disturbing for those following the Weinstein case, it was her next comment that was likely to throw people off.

Khan claimed that sexual abuse charges made by women could be a “double-edged” word.

“Something concrete should come out of talking, otherwise it is also dangerous because anybody can get up and talk without any proof and then it’s trial by media,” said Khan.

She was in Dubai along with tennis player Sania Mirza to support fashion exhibition The Label Trunk, curated by Mirza’s sister Anam at JW Marriott Marquis Dubai.

When it was pointed out that there is a culture of silence and fear among abuse victims, Khan maintained that while there is a need to be sensitive, the alleged victims could also make allegations to settle personal scores.

“Yes, we have to be sensitive, but I am saying it is dangerous. If you don’t like any man you can get up and say whatever you want to destroy him. Nobody wants any proof or anything,” said Khan, adding that nobody has dared proposition her in her line of work.

Asked if sexism exists in Bollywood or sports, tennis star Mirza, who has been friends with Khan for more than a decade, believes that it’s a way of life.

“We live in a man’s world. Although we don’t like to acknowledge it as much, women know it is a man’s world. Women know it is a little bit more difficult to succeed,” said Mirza.