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Akshay Kumar cancels shoot of ‘Housefull 4’ as Sajid Khan steps down

The news comes as the film’s director, along with actor Nana Patekar, both face allegations of sexual misconduct

Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar has put out a call to the makers of Housefull 4 to cancel the film’s shoot, even as director Sajid Khan steps down from the project following allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against him.

Housefull 4 has been at the centre of the #MeToo storm that has thrown Bollywood in turmoil, with the film starring Nana Patekar who stands accused of sexual misconduct by former actress and beauty queen Tanushree Dutta during the shoot of the 2008 film, Horn OK Pleassss.

While several social media users out calls to fire Patekar from Housefull 4, the movie found itself further grabbing headlines after its director Khan was accused of misconduct by several women through Twitter posts, including one claiming to be his former assistant director.

Kumar, who was holidaying in Italy with his wife Twinkle Khanna and mother-in-law Dimple Kapadia, put out a statement on October 12, saying the news coming out of India was ‘very disturbing’.

“I’ve just landed back in the country last night and reading all the news has been very disturbing. I’ve requested the producers of Housefull 4 to cancel the shoot until further investigation,” he wrote on Twitter.

Kumar went on to say: “This is something that requires stringent action. I will not work with any proven offenders and all those who have been subjugated to harassment should be heard and given the justice they deserve.”

Shortly after Kumar put out his statement, Khan also put one out on the micro-blogging site saying he was officially stepped down as the film’s director.

“In wake of the allegations against me and the pressure being put on my family, my producer n the stars of my film Houseful4, I must take the moral responsibility of stepping down from my directorial post, till the time I can allay the allegations and prove the truth. [sic]”

He continued: “I request my friends in the media to kindly not pass judgement till the truth is out.”

Khan has been named as a predator by multiple women reported Ians, including two actresses — Sonali Chopra and Rachel White — and one journalist.

Meanwhile, Mumbai police has lodged a case against actor Patekar and three others on the basis of actor Dutta’s complaint and has begun investigations, her lawyer confirmed on October 11.

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