A neighbour of actor Preity Zinta has told police she showed him bruises on her arm on May 31, a day after she was allegedly molested and verbally abused by industrialist and ex-boyfriend Ness Wadia.
Zinta lodged a police complaint against Wadia days after the alleged incident, which is said to have taken place during an IPL match at Wankhede Stadium on May 30. Both Zinta and Wadia are co-owners of IPL team Kings XI Punjab.
Zinta’s neighbour Danish Merchant (52), a city-based builder, has told police in his statement, “I went to her home the next day. There, she showed me a bruise on her elbow that she had got when Ness grabbed and pulled her. She said to me, ‘Is this how you treat a girl?”
The police said that Merchant is one of the four key witnesses to the May 30 incident that Zinta detailed in her supplementary statements on Tuesday.
According to the police, Merchant was invited by Zinta for the May 30 match.
In his statements recorded with the Marine Drive police station last week, Merchant said he had been seated at the Garware Pavilion where the first incident occurred. He also told police that he saw American national Jean intervene when Wadia grabbed Zinta’s arm. Merchant stated that he heard Jean tell Wadia to back off and stay away from her.
“We were seated on level 2 of Garware Pavilion. About 40 minutes after the match began, Wadia came and started screaming because he couldn’t find a seat for his mother. He said, ‘What the hell do you think of yourself?... You have shown your class.’ He then left. After the match, Zinta went down to ground and told us she would return in half-an-hour. Jean and I waited in my car. When she returned half-an-hour later, she looked disturbed and started crying. She was so distraught that I didn't ask her anything that night,” Merchant’s statement to police reads.