Rajendra Prasad is a comedian.
But Malavika aka Shweta Konnur thinks he is good at playing sick jokes. Otherwise would she have stormed out of the sets of Appa Rao Driving School?
Her fiery grouse is against the alleged misplaced passion of Rajendra Prasad who deliberately kissed her on the lips despite the scene not warranting it. Or so she says.
After this unseemly incident (that happened Thursday night) during the shoot of Appa Rao Driving School, not only did Malavika walk out of the sets, she also flew out of Hyderabad by the first available flight to Mumbai.
The allegations of Malavika are not simple. It goes deeper.
She has said she was vexed with the repeated retakes that director Anji Sreenu insisted on and that during one of the retakes, Rajendra Prasad kissed and also physically assaulted' her.
The producer, Gopal Reddy, tried to pacify her, but it was to no avail.
Opening a Pandora's Box, Malavika has also complained of misbehavior by her screen partner and others.
Rajendra Prasad has, however, has a different story to tell. I was instructed by dance director Swarna and director Sreenu to appear more intimate during the shoots. After all it was the first night scene of a married couple. I might have accidentally brushed her lips while turning my face. I had no bad intentions, he claimed
Malavika did not buy this story.
Without taking any names, she said several people had demanded sexual favors from her. There were hints from even the co-actor and the director, she fumed. They offered more footage and also another song, she has been quoted as saying.
The entire incident has rocked Tollywood very badly. It is as if one of its worst kept secrets is out. It is no secret that Tollywood (like most 'Woods in India) treats its ladies very badly.
This is not the first time that Tollywood finds itself in such a bind.
Last year, Coca-Cola girl and Bollywood actor Shilpa Shivanand was slapped by producer-director Mohan Babu for not doing a kissing scene in the film Vishnu. Mohan Babu had also prevented her from leaving Hyderabad after she filed a police complaint against him.
The case was resolved only after Sakshi Shivanand, Shilpa's actor sister, and producer-director Dasari Narayan Rao, now a Union Minister, intervened.
Jayanti, a popular Kannada actor, had also accused Mohan Babu of ill treatment.
For Gopal Reddy, this incident could not have come at a more inopportune moment.
For him, Appa Rao Driving School is in trouble now. He has to quickly change gears now.