Being put up in a VIP suite close to the elevator where Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal sexually assaulted a junior colleague appears to have put the media spotlight on Hollywood legend Robert De Niro, for no fault of his.
De Niro, who finds his name inadvertently mentioned twice in the first information report filed by Goa Police, was the subject of a question from a reporter to Goa's Deputy Inspector General (DIG) O.P. Mishra.
Asked if the police would question the Godfather II star because of his physical proximity to the scene of crime, Mishra said: "This is an investigation and many things are likely to emerge. Whosesoever's testimony is required for investigation will be taken."
De Niro's name is mentioned twice in the FIR filed by Goa Police after a complaint was made by the woman jounrnalist to Tehelka managing editor Shoma Chaudhury. The complaint says Tarun Tejpal used meeting Robert De Niro as an excuse for luring the young woman into the lift and sexually assaulting her twice, over two days.
"Let's go wake up Bob (De Niro), and I asked him why he wanted to do that. I then realised that Tejpal was simply pressing buttons on the lift's panel to make the elevator stay in circuit, preventing it from stopping anywhere, and for the doors to open," says the FIR in one instance, quoting extensively from the written complaint sent by the woman journalist to Shoma Chaudhury.
Robert De Niro was the star speaker at the Tehelka ThinkFest, a highbrow conference held in Goa Nov 8-9. The woman claims that Tejpal sexually assaulted her twice on Nov 7 and 8.