WHILE the set of e.tv telenovela Imbewu: The Seed appears as glitz and glam on screen, an up-and-coming actor is allegedly thinking of killing himself.
That’s because he alleges he was sexually assaulted at this telenovela’s Grapevine Production Studios in Umbilo, south of Durban, KZN. The actor said he opened a case of sexual assault at Kranskop Police Station in KZN, where he lives.
He claimed he will never forget what happened on 13 December.
“That was the worst day of my life,” said the alleged victim.
The actor said he was at the studio after he was booked as an extra when the incident happened. He insists he was sexually assaulted by a person who works for the casting agency that works with Imbewu.
“The person who did this to me was appointed by the agency under which I was signed to show us what we were going to do as extras,” said the actor.
He said he was scared of being victimised and that’s why it took him four months to report the matter to police.
“I reported the matter to the agency’s management, but the manager told me the accused is a respected man and didn’t believe me. But now I’m getting calls even from the person who assaulted me. I’m being threatened. I’m even thinking of killing myself since I’m not getting any support,” said the actor.
The owner of the casting agency poured cold water on the claims, saying: “I’m aware of those allegations but there’s no proof the incident really happened. This actor is lying.”
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane confirmed that a case of sexual assault has been opened.
“The docket has been transferred to Umbilo Police Station for further investigation,” he said.
Imbewu publicist Matodzi Mashau said e.tv issued a statement on this matter.
“I can’t say Imbewu is aware of the matter or not because as I have said, I can’t remember what the statement said,” said Matodzi.
Grapevine Productions said they were aware of the claim but the individual concerned had not laid a complaint with the production.
They also stated that they had a zero-tolerance stance on sexual harassment and abuse in any form.
– Sunday Sun