After the allegations made by Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta on Nana Patekar of sexual harassment, the #MeToo movement began. In the latest addition to the ongoing list of #MeToo movement, marketing consultant Suhel Seth’s name is making the headlines.
At least four women, including one who said she was a minor at the time of the alleged incident have accused Suhel Seth of sexual harassment. On Wednesday, a director and creative producer Natashja Rathore shared a number of screenshots of a lengthy WhatsApp message sent to Suhel Seth recalling an alleged incident that took place “some time last year at his condo in Gurgaon”.
Describing the whole incident, Natashja said in her texts that she had met Suhel Seth in her office. “After having a few drinks, he insisted on her joining him for an ice cream in Janpath in central Delhi. She said she declined his offer twice before finally agreeing to go have ice cream,” she wrote.
“You used your power to take me home instead… You then threw yourself at me although I was clearly uncomfortable. You shoved your tongue in my throat even when I resisted — I whacked your head and said ‘behave yourself’. You put your hand into my kurta and grabbed my breast,” she alleged.
She further wrote that she managed to stop him and went to the washroom. “Thank you for not raping me that night. Thank you for sending your driver to drop me home… Over time, I’ve learnt to manage you. But no woman should ever have to ‘manage’ the misuse of power and ‘manage’ being sexually assaulted,” she wrote.
“You have abused your power for years on end. With what I’ve seen at a close range, if every woman you’ve ever laid hands on starts to speak up, I assure you, there will be at least 1,000 women who will say Suhel Seth? Yes. #MeToo. It ends here,” she added.
Natashja Rathore also maintained that she had come out and spoken up not for want of publicity or money, but because she wanted a “closure”.
Hours after the revelation, Journalist Mandakini Gahlot said that Seth forcibly kissed her in public at a conference in Goa in July 2011.
She said, “I do not remember what he said, but I will never forget that he laughed, and even worse the people in that group laughed.” “In the end, I did not file a complaint – for so many reasons. I was too young, trying desperately to rise in my career and Suhel was just too powerful to take on. Like a lot of other women, I also brushed off the incident, and often said, it doesn’t bother me in any way,” she added.
Importantly, two others have also accused Suhel of sexual harassment.