Goa Police will contact De Niro in Tehelka probe

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SummaryDe Niro’s statement, could help establish key aspects and supplement the CCTV footage assessment report.

The Goa police has decided to get in touch with Hollywood actor Robert De Niro to corroborate some details mentioned by the former Tehelka journalist who has accused the magazine’s founder-editor Tarun Tejpal of sexually assaulting her during a media event in Goa last month.

The journalist was working for the magazine when the alleged incident took place during the Think Fest organised by Tehelka and was assigned to chaperone De Niro. This had to be corroborated through multiple statements to establish aspects such as trust and the fiduciary relationship between Tejpal and the complainant, police sources said.

In his email to the journalist, Tejpal had written that the fact she was assigned to assist De Niro and his daughter Drena showed how much he trusted her capabilities and efficiency. Though officers are yet to draft a questionnaire for De Niro, sources said the queries will be restricted to corroborating the complainant’s narrative and establishing her role as the chaperone of the actor and his daughter between November 7 and 11.

If the actor reverts within the stipulated time, the information will be included in the chargesheet, they said.

“It is necessary, but only as a supporting statement. We will try to approach his office, and it will help in giving credence to the sequence of events that surround the allegations,” said a senior officer.

De Niro’s statement, sources said, could help establish key aspects and supplement the CCTV footage assessment report, including the part that Tejpal and the complainant walked toward the scene of the alleged crime after dropping the actor and his daughter to their suite at the Grand Hyatt hotel on November 7, the night of the first alleged sexual assault.

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