Bollywood Buzz

Sayali’s had enough, royal lies land cine PR in jail

The long winded drama over the bizarre charges being levied at mainstream Bollywood stars – supposedly by Sayali Bhagat – culminated in the arrest, on Sayali’s complaint, of her PR firm’s head, who has a history of doing this earlier .

A supposed ‘royal’ who’s gone from freelance writing to a wannabe actor to PR, and now behind bars; that’s the brief CV of Anant Narayan, the ‘actor’ who was arrested by the Mumbai Cyber Crime Cell from his Gurgaon residence on Sunday, following a complaint filed by actress and a former Miss India Sayali Bhagat for circulating emails – purportedly on her behalf – suggesting that she was harassed by Shiney Ahuja on the sets of “Ghost”, and also by a slew of other actors, all big names in the industry. Sources told DT that Anant was subsequently represented by a fleet of lawyers when he was produced in court – there were eight of them representing him – but his bail plea was rejected, going by the prima facie evidence the Mumbai Cyber Crime Cell had gathered. He was remanded to police custody till Wednesday.

Sayali had filed a police complaint against him when a slew of mails began to be sent out from his PR company – Creme Talent Management – saying Sayali is accusing Amitabh Bachchan, Sajid Khan, Arya Babbar of sexual harassment. Sayali said she had no idea either of the incidents, or of the mails being sent.

Nandkishore More, Senior Inspector, Mumbai Cyber Crime Cell, who came all the way to Delhi to arrest Anant, recounts, “On Sunday, we arrested Anant Narayan from his Gurgaon home. We reached Mumbai yesterday (Monday). Till Wednesday, he will remain in police custody and will be presented in court after that. He has been booked under IPC Sections 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and other relevant sections of the Information Technology Act. He was circulating press releases in which three big names of the film industry were charged with sexual harassment and misbehaviour. But the supposed ‘victim’, who filed the complaint (Sayali) has no information about any of the mails or the incidents stated in them, and says it is all false. His trial starts tomorrow. If the case against him is proven, he can be sent to jail for up to three years.”

But wasn’t he her publicist? “This guy apparently went to her house and showed her various management contracts he had bagged with other big names in the industry, and convinced her to appoint him as her publicist,” said More. “And when she realized what was happening, she filed a police complaint on October 26, and we began our investigations,” he added.

Sayali has been advised by her lawyers not to talk to the media, and therefore, wished not to be quoted. Her laywer, Varsha Palav, partner of the law firm The Laureate, that’s representing Sayali, told us, “It was based on Sayali’s complaint that the police began their investigations, and they have now arrested and produced the accused in the court. He has been remanded to custody, his bail plea having been rejected. We are pressing charges against him under Sections 66 A (punishment for sending offensive messages through communication), 67 (punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) and 67A for what the accused has written about my client and Sajid Khan and Arya Babbar. The first two sections carry three years of imprisonment and fine, and section 67A is punishable with five years and a fine which may extend to `10 lakh.” Shiney’s publicist, Dale, told us that Shiney, who has been the subject of much slander on Anant’s part, will not take legal action, and that ‘it’s Sayali’s case’.

This is not the first time an actress has denied statements from Anant’s side. Earlier, Minissha Lamba too had said she was surprised with rumors suggesting she was dating the ‘Prince of Bhareh’ and that she was doing a film with him. Earlier investigation by us had indicated that the actual royal family of Bhareh, which is located near Etawah in UP, had asserted that there is no ‘Yuvraj Anant’ in their family; the Bhareh family uses the surname Sengar, not Anant or Narayan. A member of the Bhareh family, however, said he was aware of Anant and his fraudulent claims for some time now.

Anant’s publicity machinery has often used the created news model to stay in the news; on earlier occasions, he’s sent out info – and then formally contradicted the ‘rumors’ – of him starring in “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi”, of shooting for “Chandni Chowk To China”, of being mobbed after being mistaken for Ranbir Kapoor. A press note sent out by his team after the supposed ‘mobbing’ last year explained that the crowd left Anant “completely bemused and stunned at the rather bizarre turn of events”. This time, that rings true, and it’s not a press release. With inputs from Abhijit Sathe and Suruchi Sharma.


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