Television actress Sonal Vengurlekar, who was last seen in Saam Daam Dand Bhed, recently shared her #MeeToo story.
The actress accuses Raja Bajaj (Rajesh V Bajaj)- photographer by profession- and father of famous actress Sheena Bajaj- for sexually harassing her in 2012, when she was just 19 years.
While talking to Bombay Time she said, “This was when I had started giving auditions and chanced upon an opportunity on a casting website. I called on the number mentioned on the site and was told by the person to come for an audition in Borivali. The man happened to be TV actress Sheena Bajaj’s father, Raja Bajaj. I gave the audition, but couldn’t deliver the dialogues well since I was untrained. He told me that I have a good face, but needed to have a better understanding of the profession and suggested that I assist him on a shoot.”
“After some time, he told me to try out a couple of outfits, though I wondered why he asked me to try out those outfits when the shoot was with another model. He had a bottle of cream in his hand and told me to apply it on my breasts before wearing those, as that would help in giving them a proper shape. Much to my horror, he came forward and applied the cream on my breasts forcibly. I got scared and ran away. What made the situation even scarier was that no one from my family was with me,” she said.
“Later in the evening, when I went back to my room, from where I could see Raja drinking and chatting with the resort manager. He came to my room and said that ‘Aapko main tantrik vidyasikhaunga, jisse aap raaton raat superstar bann jaogi. You have to remove your clothes and sit naked in front of me and repeat the mantra I chant. I snubbed him and said that I didn’t want to learn anything. He, then, stepped forward and tried to forcibly remove my clothes. I somehow managed to get out of the room and went straight to the model and her mother, who were in the adjoining room. Sometime later, the resort manager informed us that he had fled the scene without his belongings.”
The actress went back and shared the incident with a family friend immediately. She filed a police complaint at Kasturba Marg police statation in 2012 itself. The model and her mother, who had accompanied her, also recorded their statements.
However, Raja Bajaj has denied Sonal’s allegations and said Sonal did come to his house and initially demanded Rs.3 lakhs and then came down’ to Rs.1.5 lakhs. When he refused to pay her, she mocked him.