Actress Mahima Chaudhry has said filmmaker Subhash Ghai “bullied” her and sent messages to several producers to not to work with her.
The actress had made her Bollywood debut with 1997 film Pardes opposite Shah Rukh Khan, directed by Ghai.
Mahima told Bollywood Hungama in an interview, “I was bullied by Mr. Subhash Ghai. He even took me to the court and wanted me to cancel my first show. It was quite stressful.
He sent a message to all the producers that nobody should work with me! If you pick up one of the issues of Trade Guide magazine in 1998 or 1999, there was an ad that he had given which stated that if anybody wanted to work with me, that person would have to contact him. Otherwise, it would be a breach of contract. However, there was no such contract which said that I had to seek his permission.”
Sharing about the four Bollywood celebrities who came out in her support, she said, “Salman Khan, Sanjay Dutt, David Dhawan and Rajkumar Santoshi were the only four people who stood by me. They all told me to stay strong. David Dhawan called and told me that, ‘Don’t worry and don’t let him bully you.’ Apart from these four people, I didn’t receive a call from anyone else.”
The actress also revealed that she was to star in 1998 film Satya but was replaced by Urmila Matondkar without even being informed by director Ram Gopal Varma. “That was supposed to be my second film. I had taken the signing amount. He didn’t even have the decency to call me or my manager and inform me about the reality. I learnt from the press that he had begun shooting without me,” she said. The film changed the course of lead actor Manoj Bajpayee’s career.