Former Miss India and actress Niharika Singh has once again opened up about the harassment she faced at the hands of actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Singh has also expressed her displeasure after Siddiqui’s biography, ‘An Ordinary Life: A Memoir’, which was released a few months ago and then recalled after major backlash. The book allegedly described her as “a seductress wearing faux fur”.
Singh shared her ordeal with author Sandhya Menon, one of the first few people to come out with their experiences of sexual harassment in India’s #MeToo movement. Menon wrote on Twitter: “2005 Miss India Niharika Singh’s experiences in Bollywood but especially with Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Mayank Singh Singvi. Niharika and other women accused Siddiqui of making up lies in his autobiography, due to which he withdrew the book. This is her side of the story.”
The post details how Siddiqui told different stories to different women and misled most of them. “Nowaz (Nawaz) had engaged multiple women, giving each one a different story; one of them even called me from his phone and started yelling at me. I also found out about a woman he’d married in Haldwani whose family sued him for making dowry demands. I told him to clean up his mess, be honest with himself and everyone around him,” Singh’s post said.
Singh claimed she had to make sure that she maintained distance from him in order to stay away from the ‘toxic male entitlement’ he flaunted. “Nawaz being an aspirational, sexually repressed Indian man whose toxic male entitlement grew with his success is hardly surprising. What is interesting to note that despite not identifying as a Hindu, he carries deep caste prejudices since he chose to protect the honour of his ‘Brahmin’ wife after their names came in CDR scam, while he felt very comfortable painting me as a seductress wearing faux fur in his book, who he could sexually exploit, for public imagination.”
Singh stated that she decided to write the piece in order “to expand my own understanding of what constitutes abuse, who we choose to punish and whom we are willing to forgive”. The actress also said that despite working on a project with producer Bhushan Kumar, she never got paid because she refused to entertain his advances.
2005 Miss India Niharika Singh’s experiences in Bollywood but especially with Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Mayank Singh Singvi
Niharika and other women accused Siddiqui of making up lies in his autobiography, due to which he withdrew the book.
This is her side of the story. pic.twitter.com/XBVGgE3r0c
— Sandhya Menon (@TheRestlessQuil) November 9, 2018
Kumar once texted her saying, “I would love to know you more. Let’s get together sometime.” To which she responded with a “‘Absolutely! Lets go on a double date. You bring your wife. I’ll bring my boyfriend.” After this exchange, the project got delayed and she never got her due.
Singh also named filmmaker Sajid Khan in her account about the insensitive remarks made by him. “Filmmaker Sajid Khan, who I met a couple of times while he was dating an actress I knew years ago, made a few predictions when a close friend of ours was opening her second restaurant – ‘This place will shut down within a year, mark my words. To his actress girlfriend he said, ‘She won’t survive a day without me in Bollywood’. ‘And, this one’, looking at me straight, ‘will soon commit suicide’,” she wrote.