‘Sairat’ director Nagraj Manjule's ex-wife accuses him of domestic violence

Marathi director Nagraj Manjule who is garnering accolades for his path-breaking film ‘Sairat’ has become entangled in a controversy revolving around his personal life. at a time when he is gaining popularity as a filmmaker with a social conscience, his ex-wife Sunita has accused him of domestic violence and emotional abuse.

In an interview with The Quint, Sunita revealed shocking details of her marriage with Nagraj. Sunita got married to the acclaimed director in 1997 when she was merely 18 and took care of his whole family in Solapur, as Nagraj pursued his career as a filmmaker in Pune.

Sunita claimed that when Nagraj’s film ‘Pistulya’ bagged the National Film Award, he along with his family locked her up in the house alone, before leaving for Delhi to collect the Award. She also alleged that Nagraj made her undergo abortion at least twice, and when she raised her voice he used to beat her with bare hands, leather belt and sometimes, a log of wood.

The Quint quoted Sunita, "I think he is embarrassed of me. He moves in the artistic circles, the who’s who of Maharashtra speak to him with high regard, and here I am, someone who has studied only till 8th standard. I think that’s the reason he deemed me fit only to take care of his family and to do household work, but not be the wife that he could acknowledge in front of everyone. Now he has become successful, and I, being the not-so-literate makes him ashamed, which is why he got rid of me."

The filmmaker filed for divorce with Sunita in 2012 and handed her a demand draft of Rs seven lakh as settlement. "Later, I came to know that I would have no right on his property, alimony or his life. I was told this was all I could get," Sunita told the digital publication.

Sunita now cleans people's homes to make a living and tends her aging parents.