Actor Mandana Karimi claimed that on the last day of the shoot, the producer of the film, Mahendra Dhairwal allegedly misbehaved and harassed with her. The producer accused the actor of hampering the film shoot and showing unprofessional behavior.
As per Bombay Times, the incident took place before Diwali. Mandana told BT, “I am still in shock about what happened and how it happened. Koka Kola is a film that we have been working on for over a year now, and it’s been one of those jobs that you do despite knowing that the team is not being very professional. We all end up doing a few such jobs to just keep ourselves afloat. From the beginning, I had problems with this crew. The producer (Mahendra Dhariwal) is an old-school man who turns the set into a man-dominated, egoistic place. There are places where projects are driven by one person’s ego. That’s not new, but what happened on November 13 has shaken me up”.
The actor added that it was her last day of the shoot and she wanted to wrap up early as she had a meeting lined up. For the last two days, she had come in early and clocked in hours, though the shoot didn’t include her. Around the time of wrap up, the producer asked her to stay on sets a little longer but she refused as she had a meeting. He was okay with it and she went back and finished a few last takes.
They were shooting for a song. But as she walked out of the set and went into her vanity van to change, Dhairwal forcefully came inside and started shouting, ”’You can’t leave. I asked you to do an extra hour and you have to listen because I am the producer and I have paid you’ This set had no director or assistants. There was a choreographer, a stylist and the producer was calling the shots, literally. It’s the strangest job I have done in my nine years in India. He started creating a scene on the set along with his son and calling me names. It’s unsettling how they have behaved with me as an artiste and as a woman.”
Meanwhile, producer Mahendra Dhariwal told Bombay Times his version of the story. It was Mandana who was unprofessional and declined to do her job despite being paid in full. Dhariwal said he was forced to give the actor an ‘earful’ after she ‘started acting up.’
“In one-and-a-half years, for a contract of Rs 7 lakh, she has taken Rs 17 lakh, cash transactions included. I am okay with spending the money, but she has behaved unprofessionally with us,” the producer said.