Two women on Wednesday accused public relations consultant and author Suhel Seth on Twitter of sexually harassing them several years ago.
Journalist Mandakini Gahlot said that Seth forcibly kissed her in public at a conference in Goa in July 2011. “I do not remember what he [Seth] said, but I will never forget that he laughed, and even worse the people in that group laughed,” she said. “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 [Seth] 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.”
Gahlot, 33, is a freelance journalist with over 11 years of experience. She said that she had read anonymous accounts on social media describing alleged sexual harassment by Seth. “People were debating whether to believe the anonymous accounts,” Gahlot told Scroll.in. “I had no trouble believing them because of my own experience. That’s when I decided to speak up and name him.”
Also on Wednesday, film director Natashja Rathore took to Twitter to accuse Seth of taking her to his apartment in Gurugram and kissing and groping her. “I am not doing this for publicity,” she wrote. “I am not doing this for money. I am not doing this to malign a person. I am doing this solely to empower other women to directly confront the perpetrator. It’s hard – but it’s about time.”
Scroll.in has contacted Seth for his comments. This article will be updated if he responds.
Seth refuted the third sexual harassment claim made by an anonymous accuser on Tuesday, telling The Quint that he was not in Mumbai when she claimed the incident occurred.
Since October 5, several women have on social media made allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct against several journalists, media professionals, actors, writers and others.
Union minister and former editor MJ Akbar, The Times of India’s Hyderabad resident editor KR Sreenivas, former Times of India executive editor Gautam Adhikari, and journalist Mayank Jain are among dozens of men accused of sexual harassment. Actor Alok Nath is accused of rape and sexual harassment.
This article includes only those accounts in which the women have chosen to name themselves and their alleged harassers or in cases where there have been multiple accusations against one person. Scroll.in reporters are continuing to report the story, including efforts to corroborate and cover the cases where the women have chosen to be anonymous.