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Actress Vichitra reveals casting couch attack by Tollywood hero

Wednesday, November 22, 2023 • Telugu Comments
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Casting Couch attack on Natasimha Balakrishna

Natasimha Balakrishna, a prominent figure in Tollywood, has been actively involved in philanthropy through the Basavatarakam Cancer Hospital and Trust, dedicating himself to various social service initiatives. In addition to his cinematic contributions, he consistently imparts powerful messages to society through his films.

Amidst the current tumult, Kollywood actress Vichitra has courageously come forward with disconcerting revelations about Balakrishna. Sharing her unsettling encounter with the casting couch during her tenure in a Telugu film two decades ago, Vichitra revealed that this distressing incident played a pivotal role in her decision to exit the film industry. Despite filing a complaint with the union at the time, no remedial measures were taken.

Casting Couch attack on Natasimha Balakrishna

While refraining from explicitly naming the hero or the film, Vichitra's disclosure led to certain names being muted during the live relay. Speculations on social media platforms, particularly X (formerly Twitter), suggest that the incident transpired during the filming of 'Bhalevadivi Basu,' featuring Nandamuri Balakrishna, also known as Balayya. Some users even managed to identify the specific scene she alluded to.

Reflecting on her harrowing experience, Vichitra shared, "In 2000, a fellow actor recommended a film to me. I won't delve into details, but the shooting took place in Malampuzha, where I eventually met my husband. It was there that I endured my most egregious casting couch encounter, an ordeal so profound that it led to my departure from the film industry post-marriage. Although I attempted to bury this incident, the wound has remained unhealed. Speaking out now is a cathartic confrontation with my demons."

Casting Couch attack on Natasimha Balakrishna

Recounting the distressing incident, she continued, "We were lodged in a 3-star hotel where my husband served as the general manager. At a party, I encountered the hero, a renowned figure, who, without asking my name, invited me to his room. It was a jolting shock. That night, I retired to my room bewildered. From the following day, challenges during the shoot intensified."

"I had never encountered such situations in Tamil cinema. Inebriated men associated with the film would pound on my door. The noise still resonates in my memory. Distraught, I pleaded with the hotel staff not to connect calls to my room. My now-husband, not even a friend at the time, sensed my distress and offered assistance. He and his team covertly changed my room daily, shielding me from the film crew's awareness. The men persisted, leading to a breaking point."

Casting Couch attack on Natasimha Balakrishna

"While filming a forest scene marked by chaos, I sensed inappropriate touches. Thinking it a mistake, I endured it through multiple takes. On the third occurrence, I apprehended the culprit and brought him to the stunt master, who promptly administered a slap. To my dismay, the unit remained silent. Enraged, frightened, and emotional, I confided in a friend. Blood clots and facial marks from the slap bore witness to the brutality."

Casting Couch attack on Natasimha Balakrishna

"Seeking justice, I approached the union, but their response was disheartening. My wounds healed within days, and no one attended the court hearings. Despite my husband's offer to testify, I felt my career crumbling. The union head advised me to move on, emphasizing the industry's harsh reality. It was then that my husband, questioning the worth of such a career devoid of respect, uttered words that felt like a slap on my face," she concluded.

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