The Viral Fever’s CEO and Founder Arunabh Kumar was booked for molestation by the Mumbai Police on Wednesday, reported ANI. A case was lodged against him on the basis of a complaint filed by one of the women who had accused him of sexual harassment. The case was registered at a police station in the Andheri east suburb of Mumbai, reported Hindustan Times.
He had denied the allegations after several former employees came forward accusing him of inappropriate and hostile behaviour.
On March 12, in a blog post on Medium titled “The Indian Uber – That Is TVF”, a former employee of the entertainment company chronicled the months of harassment Kumar had allegedly subjected her to since 2014. She accused him of making lewd comments, molesting her and making countless passes at her both in office and during shoots and also “acting as a pimp”. The post was later taken down after Kumar lodged a complaint with the website.
The woman identified herself as “Indian Fowler” on Medium, after former Uber employee Susan Fowler, who had exposed cases of sexual harassment at her firm on social media last month. In her post, the only reference to the TVF complainant’s identity is that she comes from Muzaffarpur. However, Kumar has denied hiring any staff from the city in the past three years.
TVF, too, declared the claims in the article were “categorically false, baseless and unverified”. “We take a lot of pride in our team and in making TVF a safe workplace that is equally comfortable for women and men. We will leave no stone unturned to find the author of the article and bring them to severe justice for making such false allegations.”
Actor-director and TVF employee Nidhi Bisht later urged women “to come forward without fear and lodge a formal complaint” if they had faced similar ill-treatment at the TVF workplace. Bisht, who had earlier dismissed the allegations against Kumar as baseless, admitted that she was shocked by the number of women speaking out against the TVF chief since Indian Fowler’s post went viral on social media.
Kumar had said after the accusations, “I am a heterosexual, single man and when I find a woman sexy, I tell her she’s sexy. I compliment women. Is that wrong? Having said that, I am very particular about my behaviour.”