#MeToo: Alok Nath lunged at me saying, You are mine', reveals Sandhya Mridul
Mumbai: After ‘90s TV show producer-writer Vinta Nanda accused him of rape, fresh allegations have surfaced against Alok Nath, with well-known actress Sandhya Mridul telling him ‘Time’s Up.’
The actress, known for popular films like ‘Page 3’, ‘ ‘Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd’ and ‘Ragini MMS 2’, accused the ‘Sanskaari’ actor of trying to sexually assault her when she was a young actress and played the role of his daughter in a telefilm for Zee TV in Kodaikanal.
Late actress Reema Lagoo played her mother in the show and it all started with Nath going gaga over her during the shoot, calling her ‘God’s own child’ and how she became a fan of this ‘Baabuji.’
But like Vinta Nanda’s story, alcohol played a major role in bringing out his dark side, and at a dinner where the entire cast was present, he insisted she sit with him and said, ‘You are mine’ and similar statements, which made Sandhya extremely uncomfortable.
Later, the inebriated actor knocked on her hotel room and ‘lunged’ at her by pushing the door when she tried to close the door.
He kept trying to attack her, by saying ‘I want you, you are mine’ while the youngster ducked every attempt. Sandhya ran out of the room, but moments later the ‘belligerent’ actor was back and refused to leave her room ‘screaming shouting threatening abusing trying to grab (sic)’ her. Finally, they succeeded in making him leave the room and the hairdresser was made to sleep in her room to give strength to the ‘shaken’ actress.
After the incident, Sandhya remembers feeling ’nauseous’ about shooting a scene when she had to sit on his lap and cry.
Nath kept traumatising her with phone calls after that which she kept ‘off the hook’ most of the times and shared how she ‘dreaded the ring’ and fell sick, was a ‘nervous wreck’ and couldn’t shoot later.
Later, he, however, pleaded with her and apologised for his behaviour saying he was an alcoholic and that he also destroyed his marriage and that she was like his daughter. He said he’d be going on therapy for it and Sandhya believed him as she ‘had to’ and recalls her struggle at completing the shoot on the show for the remaining period and thanked the members of the cast and Reema Lagoo for supporting her during the time.
After they returned to Mumbai, Nath had forgotten the apologies and told others that she was ‘difficult’ and ‘arrogant’.
Sandhya’s message to Nath was that he also knows this incident is true and added she forgave him for her sanity, but won’t forgive him for what he did to Vinta Nanda saying her experience was nothing compared to what she went through.
Sandhya praised Tanushree Dutta and Vinta Nanda for their courage to come forward and urged others to not be ashamed and ‘keep this fire going.’
Apart from Sandhya, a crew member on the film ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’, again with Reema Lagoo, has also alleged Nath had harassed her sexually by stripping in front of her and grabbing her hand and manhandling her when she tried to run away, according to report in Mid-day.
“We were shooting for a night scene and I had taken a change of costumes to him. Once I handed him the clothes, he started stripping in front of me. I was taken aback, and tried to make my way out of the room as soon as possible. When I tried to run out, he grabbed my hand and manhandled me. I remember yanking my hand out of his grip and rushing out of the room," the woman, on the condition of anonymity, told the tabloid.
The lady didn’t take up the matter with the Barjatyas, the makers, also known for their ‘Sanskaari’ image, "I was shell-shocked; I couldn't muster the courage to speak up against him. He was extremely close to the Barjatyas, and Sooraj sir would have taken it badly."
The incident left a deep impact on her and she further said, "I don't actively do movies anymore. The course of my career changed [after this episode]. But Vinta's post brought it all back."
She continued, "I am glad CINTAA is taking action against him. I salute Vinta's courage; I wish I could show the same courage, but life has come way past it and I can't put my family through this."
No doubt it’s ‘MeToo’ for victims and ‘Time’s Up’ for Alok Nath.