Following four anonymous allegations of sexual misconduct against Sotheby's managing director for India, Gaurav Bhatia, the British auction house has sent him on leave pending an inquiry into the complaints, according to a Mumbai Mirror report.
The accusations that have surfaced over the course of the last ten days on Instagram and range from inappropriate touches to forcible kissing to physical assault. Two of the four complainants are male, the Mirror report said. The report also stated that Bhatia has now appointed legal counsel.
This incident has occurred ahead of the well-known London based auction house's inaugural auction in Mumbai, Boundless: India. In the wake of the sexual harassment allegations, Sotheby issued a statement on 22 November stating that “In light of recent anonymous allegations that have surfaced on social media, Gaurav Bhatia has agreed to take leave of absence while a formal inquiry continues. Harassment of any type has no place at Sotheby’s and we will thoroughly investigate these allegations with Gaurav’s full cooperation. Our colleagues, under the leadership of Edward Gibbs, chairman, Middle East & India, and Yamini Mehta, International Head of Indian and South Asian Art, are focused on Sotheby’s forthcoming auction.”
Several victims have come forward and shared their accounts of alleged sexual harassment over the last two months in what is being referred to as the second wave of the #MeToo movement in India.
Updated Date: Nov 23, 2018 09:57:05 IST