Series of Lawsuits Claim Gurbaksh Chahal Is CEO From Hell
By his own admission, Gurbaksh Chahal built his first business on a lie. He inflated his age to a London programmer and promised to pay him money Chahal did not have. Chahal sold that company for $40 million. A less successful second venture, a Bollywood restaurant that literally died in flames, taught another unsavory lesson: "Forget noble motivations," Chahal wrote in his memoir. "Pursue your own interests and focus on making yourself happy."
So perhaps it's not too surprising that a CEO with that kind of start would end up being accused in a lawsuit of routinely using racial slurs when speaking to subordinates and physically assaulting two female employees. Also not surprising? This is far from the first lawsuit ascribing this kind of behavior to Chahal.
Sexist Assault and Racist Acrimony
This latest lawsuit was filed by Ali Al-Ansari, former chief of staff on Chahal's current advertising venture, Gravity4. In it, Al-Ansari alleges Chahal threatened further violence against two women he was accused of assaulting, and tried to attack a third. "Al-Ansari was forced to interpose himself between the woman and Chahal and physically intervened to defend this woman to block Chahal from hitting her," his suit, obtained by The Daily Beast, claims. "Chahal nonetheless managed to hit this woman. Al-Ansari repeatedly told Chahal 'don't touch her!'"
The suit also accuses Chahal of frequently calling black people the n-word, and Al-Ansari allegedly recorded one such exchange. "We're diverting into n---r topics," Chahal begins, before another man on the recording says, "You need to stop ... drop the n-word."
"I'm not going to stop the n-word," Chahal allegedly responded. "Dude, do you want me to go ahead and say n---r, n---r, n---r?" When the man again voiced his displeasure with the word, Chahal snapped back, "I don't give a f--k. Martin Luther King might not like that, but he's a n---r, too."
No Isolated Incident
Chahal's is apparently a personality that attracts a lot of litigious attention. Other lawsuits pending against the CEO accuse him of "forcing alcohol on women, attacking another girlfriend and then pressuring an employee to help him evade charges, as well as asking male coworkers if women job applicants' breasts were attractive enough to hire," according to Raw Story, and a dismissed suit claimed he solicited sex workers, drugged women, and tried to obtain drugs illegally.
In April 2015, Gravity4's former senior vice president of global marketing Erika Alonso sued Chahal, claiming sexual harassment, age and sex discrimination, and said she was secretly and illegally spied on at work.
In September 2015, a former designer at Gravity4 also sued Chahal, claiming that in just four months of employment Chahal harassed him and spied on him in the office, threatened to "beat the shit out of" him, called him a "terrorist" and other slurs, denied him promised stock options, asked him to lie to police, pressured him to take illegal drugs, and threatened to have him deported to Canada.
And then in July 2016 a San Francisco judge decided that a second domestic violence incident violated Chahal's probation for an earlier domestic battery and sentenced him to one year in jail. That sentence was stayed pending an appeal.
Chahal in Charge
That kind of rap sheet would've ended most careers, but Chahal remains Gravity4's CEO even in the face of the latest lawsuit, and is currently said to be fundraising for a new Paris Hilton-approved cryptocurrency, a product one former Gravity4 employee called "the biggest scam I've ever heard."
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