Historical drama show "Jodha Akbar" has off late been making headlines for all the wrong reasons with the serial's director Santram Verma being accused of sexually harassing female lead, Paridhi Sharma.
However, Verma who has been associated with several successful telly serials of Ekta Kapoor's Balaji Telefilms has defended his stance and hit out at the accusations
Sharma was reportedly quite troubled with the sexual abuse and was said to be on the verge of quitting. But Verma has now rubbished the abuse reports and stated that he even avoided shooting with her.
"I've not physically abused Paridhi or anybody in my entire career. Paridhi and I are just professionals and we are here to just do our jobs. We don't even talk to each other, nor I've ever spoken to her on the phone so how can I molest?" Verma told The Times of India.
"In fact I don't even shoot her (Paridhi) scenes as Paridhi was close to the group who walked out of the show. They used to brain wash her as their only aim was to stop the shoot. So I always avoid shooting with her and have always maintained distance from Paridhi as I don't want any clash."
Not just sexual abuse, the director has also been accused of highhandedness, which is said to have led to the exit of a 90-member technical team. Former cast member Ankita Dubey too had alleged mental torture and financial disputes.
The director further refuted reports of him being dominating and tough towards the crew, and counter blamed the technical team's resignation to a single person, who had previously been warned for non-productivity and hinted at mudslinging.
"It ( exit of the technical team) all happened because of one person who didn't want to work or rather say was not performing as expected so I had to ask him to better his job or he could lose it," the director explained.
"This didn't go down well with him and he forced everyone to go for a mass walkout as those 90 people were brought by him. But I still get calls from these people asking for help to get them a job. So this itself proves that who is spreading all these rumors. I think as people are jobless and they don't have anything to do, they resort to such cheap tactics."