"The shamelessness of this man," tweeted Sona Mohapatra, who accused Kailash Kher of sexual misconduct
Singer Sona Mohapatra has accused colleague Kailash Kher of sexual misconduct in a #MeToo account she shared on Twitter, adding two allegations of misconduct by two women who have also called Mr Kher out for alleged inappropriate behaviour. Ms Mohapatra, who is married to singer-composer Ram Sampath, has not only accused Mr Kher of touching her inappropriately during a work meeting but also alleged that Mr Kher invited her to his hotel room with malicious intentions. "I met Kailash for coffee in Prithvi Cafe to discuss a forthcoming concert where both our bands were playing and after the usual, a hand on my thigh with lines likes, you're so beautiful, feel so good that a 'musician got you' (Ram) not an actor. I left soon after," read one of Ms Mohapatra's tweets.
Ms Mohapatra alleged that Kailash Kher appeared to ignore the fact that he may have offended her, because this is what followed: "That did not deter Kailash Kher though. On landing in Dhaka and on my way to the venue with the organisers, keeps calling me and when I don't pick up, calls the organisers phone to get through to me and asks me to 'skip' the sound check and join him in his room instead to 'catch up'," she tweeted. In a separate tweet, Ms Mohapatra added that Mr Kher did not appear to hold back even when he "knew me to be as strong as I am or that he had only recently taken a favour from my partner Ram."
Kailash Kher's name popped up in the ongoing #MeToo movement for the first time earlier this week after a female journalist recounted how he allegedly misbehaved with her during an interview. He was also accused by another woman of asking for her personal contact and repeatedly inviting her to his hotel room in Kolkata - both accounts are strikingly similar to Sona Mohapatra's allegations against Mr Kher.
In a separate Instagram post, Sona Mohapatra also accused singer-composer Anu Malik of being a repeat offender, along with Kailash Kher: "This guy, Kailash Kher is a serial predator and has been for years as are many others like Anu Malik in the industry," she said.
In an interview to news agency IANS on Monday, Kailash Kher offered this lame apology: "I am almost all the time in my own simple world, but in case anyone has taken or thought something differently about anything, then it is my sincere apology. My devotion to music makes me who I am and I am thankful for all the love and support."
For those questioning Sona Mohapatra about why she didn't share her story earlier, she said succintly: "My life. My choice."
Meanwhile, Sona Mohapatra has joined Anurag Kashyap and Neeraj Ghaywan to back Sacred Games' co-writer Varun Grover against sexual harassment allegations: "Too difficult to believe. I personally hope to see his name cleared," she wrote.
After the #MeToo movement caught up with Bollywood, celebrities including filmmaker Vikas Bahl, actors Nana Patekar, Alok Nath and Rajat Kapoor and poet-lyricist Vairamuthu, among others, have been named as alleged sexual predators. Film bodies such as Indian Film And Television Directors' Association or IFTDA, MAMI and CINTAA have promised to take proactive measures against those outed in #MeToo allegations.