Mumbai-based model-actor Andria D’Souza, 33, has accused Manish Mandhana, CEO of Salman Khan’s charitable organisation, Being Human, of physically and sexually assaulting her. The violence, she says, has impaired her hearing in one ear.
On 4 March, D’Souza filed an FIR at the Gamdevi police station in Mumbai. HuffPost India has a copy of the FIR. The complaint has been filed under Section 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) of the Indian Penal Code.
Mid-day quoted PI Rakesh Jadhav of Gamdevi police station as saying, “We have recorded the statement of the victim and an FIR is registered. Necessary action will be taken.”
According to Mid-day, D’Souza and Mandhana first met in Dubai in late 2015 during the launch of a Being Human store where they instantly “hit it off.” Things, however, went downhill in August 2017, after which he got physically abusive, D’Souza told HuffPost India.
“He hit me so hard that I fell down and hit a table,” D’Souza said of the abuse. “The violence continued till November, when I couldn’t take it anymore. I would vomit, get vertigo attacks, feel dizzy. Eventually I sought medical help, which is when I realised that I had suffered hearing impairment in one ear, besides several other complications.”
D’Souza sought treatment at Mumbai’s Jaslok hospital.
D’Souza says that the effects of the violence forced her to opt out of her existing assignments, one of which included hosting a show for a major media conglomerate.
“I was depressed, I couldn’t believe this had happened to me,” she said. “I had to be bedridden for several weeks and lost out on several auditions, besides cutting short my existing commitments,” she said.
She last met Mandhana on November 9, 2017 and wrote a e-mail to Mandhana’s wife on November 22, detailing the nature of abuse.
D’Souza said she silently suffered during all of 2018 as she couldn’t gather the strength to report the incident to the cops. “Socially, mentally, as well as financially, I was vulnerable and weak. I couldn’t function. The damage that abuse does to you is lasting.”
The actress also said that she took medication that had several side-effects, further affecting her ability to actively seek work.
“Those were to keep my nerves and hypertension in check, I didn’t want to take them but I had to,” she said. “I hope Salman Khan takes action against this man because he’s a serial offender. Several women have written to me saying the things he has done to them. How can a monster be at the helm of a charitable organisation that’s called Being Human? He uses Salman’s name and brand to lure women,” she alleged.
D’Souza’s lawyer, Falguni Brahmbhatt, is hopeful that her client will get justice, but pointed out that Mandhana comes from a place of power and clout.
“He thinks his employer, Salman Khan, will protect him and that he will get away scot-free. He’s taking undue advantage of the company and the person that he’s working for. I hope justice is served,” she said.
The lawyer also said that they’ve submitted medical evidence to the cops to supplement their case. “I’d like to appeal to other women who’ve witnessed abuse at the hands of Mandhana to come forward. We will help you out.”
Mandhana Industries is a major textile company based in Mumbai. In January 2011, they approached Khan’s Being Human NGO and entered into a licensing agreement to design, manufacture and distribute all Being Human merchandise. They are Being Human’s exclusive partners until 2028, The Quint reported last year.
Besides Khan’s massively popular brand, Mandhana has partnerships with other premium brands such as Pepe Jeans, Allen Solly, Tommy Hilfiger and River Island.
HuffPost India has reached out to Mandhana and Khan and will update the story as and when they respond.