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‘You Have Abused Your Power For Years On End’: At least Four Women Accuse Suhel Seth Of Sexual Misconduct

"There will be at least 1,000 women who will say Suhel Seth? Yes. #MeToo."

Adding another ‘powerful’ name to the list of sexual predators in the media industry, at least four women have levelled allegations against author Suhel Seth.

On Thursday, director Natashja Rathore alleged that author-actor Suhel Seth assaulted her. Rathore shared screenshots of messages that she sent directly to Seth recalling an experience she had “buried deeply”.

According to Rathore, Seth had insisted that she joins him for an ice cream in Janpath in central Delhi. She said she declined his offer twice before finally agreeing to accompany him. “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 in the messages.

“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.”

Another anonymous woman shared her horrifying experience with ‘creep’ Suhel Seth.

“… I was all of 17 and used to follow him (Suhel Seth) on Twitter and catch his interviews on tv. At that time I remember being a fan of his because of how eloquent he was etc. I had seen him at the coffee shop of Taj Land End on that day as I was walking out. Later, I tweeted him to saying that I saw him and was a big fan but was too shy to say Hi. He then sent me a DM and said that I should have come and said hi.”

She continued, “Later at night as I was at dinner with my parents, he sent me another DM and asked me to join him in his room for drinks as he had seen someone wish me on Twitter. I was shocked and immediately showed the message to my mum who was furious as well but didn’t know what to do. I didn’t respond to his message and he kept messaging me to join. And wrote ‘big wild kiss’ at the end of the last message after which I blocked him. All this to a 17-year-old girl.”

Journalist Mandakini Gahlot also came forward and alleged that Seth had ‘publicly harassed and humiliated’ her in 2011 at a conference at the Taj Aguada hotel in Goa.

“Suhel Suhel kept describing the “cottage suite” he was in, and telling me to come check it out after dinner. I distinctly remember he said something about a jacuzzi. Anyway, I was well aware of Suhel’s reputation, so I was on the alert, and I declined his sleazy invitation.”

When she was leaving the conference, Gahlot says Seth “planted a big sloppy kiss on my mouth, I felt his tongue inside my mouth. I was so stunned and I said something like Suhel, you can’t do that.”

Writer Ishita Yadav also recounted her experience from 2009, when she was 24 years old. Seth would message her on Facebook, and at one point, invited her to his house for a drink. Yadav says that since she had not heard of his predatory behaviour back then, she didn’t flag it.

However, Seth’s messages to her grew more inappropriate.

Another Twitter user has claimed that at a book launch in 2015, Seth propositioned her friend to come to his hotel room at night. She alleges that Seth promised her ‘plum photography assignments’ in exchange.

A staggering number of people have commented that Seth’s predatory behaviour had been an industry secret for a long time. It is appalling that despite many being aware of this, Seth continued to be a media darling – appearing on TV news debates, moderating panels, being invited to literature fests.

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