In an unusual case that reached the Vanitha Sahayavani(women’s helpline) at the city police commissionerate recently, a 31-year-old married man sought help to recover some pictures and videos of himself in a compromising position with his ex-girlfriend who is a bar dancer. The woman allegedly extorted Rs 2.5 crore from him, threatening to post the content online.
The man has been advised to lodge a police complaint, but he is wary of doing so as he fears the details might reach his kin.
Sunil Kothari (name changed), who is a from a well-to-do family in Bengaluru and is into wholesale sanitaryware business near KR Market, had visited a dance bar in the city in mid-2016. Enamoured by a 24-year-old dancer, Kothari started frequenting the bar and showering her with gifts and cash.
“The woman realised he was smitten by her and invited him over to her Austin Town home and soon he started believing they were in a relationship. She was very calculative and gradually ascertained his family details, financial situation and also his wife’s cellphone number,” said a counsellor with Vanitha Sahayavani.
The bar dancer allegedly filmed the businessman with her in bed and also used a secret camera on numerous occasions. Kothari was unaware of this and even posed for one video during a private moment. He never imagined that the videos would return to haunt him later. “Towards late 2016, he started to distance himself from the dancer when she produced the videos and threatened to post them online and WhatsApp them to his wife,” added the counsellor.
A petrified Kothari obliged to the dancer’s demands and she stared extorting money from him, starting with a few lakhs. Kothari, however, wasn’t aware that the woman’s boyfriend was orchestrating the extortion plan. “He was bullied into fulfilling all her demands, including staying with her in all five-star hotels of Bengaluru and buying her expensive gadgets, apart from parting with lakhs of rupees on many occasions. Over two years, she extracted a little over Rs 2.5 crore from him,” the women’s helpline representative said.
Beau was calling the shots
Hoping to end months of tension and the fear of the dancer landing at his doorsteps with the videos, Kothari confronted the woman only to discover her beau was calling the shots. The duo demand Rs 75 lakh from Kothari as one-time final payment to delete the photos and videos. A petrified Kothari then contacted an MLA in Rajasthan, his home state, who allegedly guided him to the women’s helpline.
The businessman told the helpline counsellors that he wasn’t keen on a refund, but wanted them to counsel the dancer and get her to delete the images and videos. “We have advised him to lodge a police complaint as it is a clear case of cheating, threatening and extortion by the dancer and her boyfriend,” the counsellor added.
Kothari is yet to make up his mind on the suggestion as he fears his family and wife will come to know of his ‘exploits’.