Sotheby's India MD Gaurav Bhatia resigns after month-long leave following #MeToo allegations

Gaurav Bhatia has resigned as managing director of Sotheby's India, nearly a month after he went on a "leave of absence" following allegations of sexual misconduct, the auction house said on 5 January.

He was put on leave in late November pending an inquiry into four anonymous allegations, reported Mumbai Mirror. These allegations, which surfaced on Instagram, ranged from forcible kissing and inappropriate touching to physical assault. It was reported that Bhatia had appointed legal counsel after being sent on leave.

Gaurav Bhatia

Gaurav Bhatia

Bhatia, who was the South Asia operations head, put in his papers on 20 December, 2018. The auction house said in a statement that they "appreciate and thank him for his service". Bhatia said he had decided to "move on" after two successful years with the auction house, in a statement.

One of the incidents highlighted on social media is said to have taken place ahead of Boundless: India, Sotheby's inaugural auction in Mumbai, which Bhatia is said to have played a major role in.

Bhatia is among several people from the Indian art world who have been named in #MeToo allegations, including Jatin Das, Riyas Komu and most recently Subodh Gupta. Following these accusations, many from the South Asian art community signed a statement about the need to create safe spaces to report harassment.

With inputs from the Press Trust of India

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Updated Date: Jan 06, 2019 10:54:14 IST

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