Farhan's cousin brother Sajid Khan, the director of hit films like Housefull, has been charged with the allegations of sexual misconduct towards actors Rachel White, Saloni Chopra, Simran Suri and journalist Karishma Upadhyay.
On Sunday, during the We the Women initiative, Farhan Akhtar said that besides disappointment Sajid's episode has caused him guilt as he had known him since their childhood.
“Every time something like this has happened in the public domain, I have been very vocal with my opinion. When it came to someone within my family, I felt silence on that front would be very, very hypocritical. So pretty much on the first day when three women came out and spoke, I felt it was important for me to speak out,” Lucknow Central actor said.
“Sajid being my brother, I need to now work with him, try to figure out how he can see this through and how it is that he can make the women, who have been affected by his actions, somehow feel better,” he added.
“It was surprise, disappointment and strangely, because when it’s a member of your family, you also feel a certain level of guilt. It’s happened to all of us in the past when we hear something like this and say ‘But how come someone so close to him didn’t know? The truth is I didn’t. If I did know, I would’ve spoken about it way before the story was broken. There was this certain guilt about that how could this be going on and I had no idea. So there were conflicted emotions,” Farhan added further.
According to him, Sajid Khan should start with apologising to the women he has disrespected and should face these things.
“Whether stuff like this needs to go into the ambit of court is for them to decide. Those are the things he has to face. To start with apologising is a big step. To say, ‘I am sorry about what I did,’ is a big step, it can make a person feel a lot better,” Farhan said when the moderator, journalist Barkha Dutt commented that his alleged allegations deserve more than an apology.
Farhan Akhtar also revealed that two-three women, who he has known for years, confided in him after the #MeToo stories against Sajid Khan started to come out, saying they also faced similar experiences with the filmmaker.
“It did make me feel I wish I had known. When people spoke about it, there were two-three women who got in touch with me privately to say, ‘Listen you should know whatever is being said is true and he has behaved in a similar way with us as well’. These are the people I have known for 12, 15, 20 years and meet them very often but nobody ever mentioned this to me. I asked them why didn’t you ever tell me? I have been doing something with MARD for the last five years. I wouldn’t have been on his side if you had brought it to my attention but somehow they weren’t comfortable to speak about it,” he shared.
As a part of his closing comment about this revolutionary moment in Indian movie industry actor said, "there is a certain responsibility that lies on men. If someone has behaved badly with a woman and she has not spoken about it for ten, 20 or 30 years, it’s her prerogative when she wants to speak. Even if someone tells me privately, like these three women, I cannot take their names. Can I go to the public with that? I can’t because she will be answerable then for the rest of her life. It’s a woman’s agency,” he said.
However, in his official statement and in his response to Indian Film and Television Directors Association (IFTDA), Sajid has completely denied all the allegations put against him during the heat of the #MeToo movement in India.