October 29, 2018 / 11:40 AM / 21 days ago

India's Tata ends ties with firm run by media figure accused of sexual misconduct

(Reuters) - India’s Tata Sons Ltd [TATAS.UL] on Monday said it will stop working with Counselage, a marketing firm run by media personality Suhel Seth who has been accused of sexual misconduct.

The announcement comes as the global #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault gained a surge in momentum in India this month as women across media, entertainment and other industries made allegations against dozens of prominent men.

Seth has not spoken publicly since denying the first accusation made on Oct. 9 from an anonymous woman who said he sent inappropriate messages when she was 17 years old.

“Counselage’s contract with Tata Sons will end on November 30, 2018,” the salt-to-software conglomerate said in a one-line statement. It declined to comment further.

A person familiar with the matter told Reuters that Tata ended its relationship with the branding, marketing and consulting services firm because of the allegations against Seth.

Seth did not respond to telephone calls or a message seeking comment. The person familiar with the matter was not authorized to speak with media and so declined to be identified.

Seth is a familiar face on Indian TV and a regular fixture on prime-time news debates. Over 4.8 million Twitter users follow his account.

He has been accused of sexual misconduct by at least six women including model Diandra Soares and film-maker Natashja Rathore.

Reporting by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; Edited by Martin Howell and Christopher Cushing

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