RadiumOne CEO Gurbaskh Chahal Fired For Domestic Violence, Calls Victim A Prostitute In A Blog Post

Chahal plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts, and not guilty to 45 other felony charges, which were later dropped.

RadiumOne CEO Gurbaskh Chahal has been fired by the company’s board of directors after he was charged with 45 felony counts of battery and domestic violence, Recode first reported. Chahal plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts: One for domestic violence battery and one for battery, and pleaded not guilty to 45 other felony charges, which were dropped.

The all-male board of directors took action on Friday night, after days of pressure from outside groups and media organizations. The board is replacing Chahal with the company’s chief operating officer, Bill Lonergan. The board announced his dismissal publicly in a statement issued Saturday:

At a board meeting yesterday evening, RadiumOne’s board of directors voted to terminate the employment of Gurbaksh Chahal as CEO and Chairman of the company. Bill Lonergan, the company COO, will take over as CEO of the Company immediately. Bill has an extraordinary professional background and has helped build Blue Lithium and RadiumOne into industry leading brands. We are confident he will continue Radium One’s impressive trajectory.

Chahal did not resign or offer to step down, and in a blog post he wrote on Saturday, he referred to himself as the CEO of RadiumOne, accused his girlfriend of prostitution, and maintained that the allegations of domestic violence were false.

“There can be no dollar value placed on the pain and suffering I have caused my family and friends, my employees and customers my investors, and everyone else who has looked up to me in the past,” Chahal wrote. “The humiliation and shame I feel is immeasurable. The dollar cost to my business and my reputation is incalculable.”

The incident that led to Chahal’s termination was first reported in August. The internet mogul was accused of hitting his girlfriend Juliet Kakish 117 times within an hour-long period and blocking off her breathing for 20 seconds. Chahal pleaded not guilty to 47 counts, and was released on a $1 million bail.

According to court documents, prosecutors said Chahal was angry after discovering that his girlfriend had traveled to Las Vegas with another man and cheated on him. In the blog post written Saturday, Chahal accused his girlfriend of “having unprotected sex for money with other people.”

Techcrunch received a copy of the victim’s medical report, which said she suffered a hematoma after the attack. Chahal admits that he “lost his temper,” stating: “I understand, accept full responsibility and sincerely apologize from the bottom of my heart for that. But I didn’t hit her 117 times, injure her, or cause any trauma as the UCSF medical reports clearly document.”

Although Kakish initially called 911 and spoke to police, she ended her cooperation with authorities for unkown reasons, Recode reported. She has not issued a public statement, but Chahal has spoken on her behalf, saying:

The girl in question here, was herself so appalled by the false allegations made by the police, that she agreed to be photographed to demonstrate that there were no bruises or injuries. She could have left my apartment at any time during the argument. She felt safe and chose to stay. Those pictures she agreed to take would have been entered into evidence had my case proceeded, and they would have proven that the police claims were egregiously misleading.

Condé Nast, whose Britain division has a vendor relationship with RadiumOne, did not say if it would continue to work with the company. A spokesperson told BuzzFeed that “Condé Nast is not and has never been an investor in or partner of RadiumOne … the UK company is reviewing its association,” adding that it does not condone abusive behavior.

BuzzFeed has reached out to individual RadiumOne board members and will update as the story develops.

Below is Chahal’s full blog post, titled “Can You Handle The Truth?”


The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth;

Right now there are many people calling for my head. I am the recipient of death threats and hateful language aimed not just at what I was accused of, but attacking me for my ethnicity, my social class, and even my gender. Many would gladly lynch me based because of my origin–and not the facts of my case.

I know that I cannot change the minds of those who choose to hate me without cause—and base their hate only on the misrepresentations they have read, but I hope that others will be open minded and give me the opportunity to tell my story and paint a broader and very different picture.

Before I begin, I want to make it abundantly clear that I abhor violence of any kind, most especially against women. I created a foundation to fight hate crimes. I consider intimate partner violence and domestic violence in that same category.

I was charged with 45 felony counts of domestic violence. All of those charges were dropped, and ultimately the case settled when the DA’s office recognized they had no case and offered me a misdemeanor plea. I accepted that plea, because after a lot of soul searching I believed I was acting in the best interest of my company, my employees, my customers, my family, my friends and my investors.

I fully understand the outrage of those who believe I got off “lightly” as asserted by numerous postings on social media sites. But the $500 fine I agreed to pay, the equivalent of a speeding ticket, is simply what those misdemeanors require, and in no way reflects the toll that this ordeal has exacted on me. There can be no dollar value placed on the pain and suffering I have caused my family and friends, my employees and customers my investors, and everyone else who has looked up to me in the past. The humiliation and shame I feel is immeasurable. The dollar cost to my business and my reputation is incalculable.

I could have spent another year fighting the charges against me, which I truly wanted to do for my family’s sake. I would have prevailed in this fight because the allegations by police against me were overblown and grossly exaggerated. They made good press, but quite literally, they did not hold up in court.

I want you to know that this is not an excuse. I know that intimate partner violence is never excusable under any circumstances. I recognize that my temper got the better of me, and I will regret that for the rest of my life. But there is a difference between temper and domestic violence, and the truth of what actually happened is no where close to what the police claimed nor anywhere near what the online chatter and pundits are now making it out to be. I have two sisters, a niece and a mother. I love them all to death, and would never want any harm to ever come their way.

The situation that resulted in my legal case began when I discovered that my girlfriend was having unprotected sex for money with other people. (She testified to this in her interviews with the cops.) I make no excuse for losing my temper. When I discovered this fact and confronted my girlfriend, we had a normal argument. She called 9-11 after I told her I was going to contact her father regarding her activities. And yes, I lost my temper. I understand, accept full responsibility and sincerely apologize from the bottom of my heart for that. But I didn’t hit her 117 times, injure her, or cause any trauma as the UCSF medical reports clearly document. This was all overblown drama because it generates huge volumes of page views for the media given what I have accomplished in the valley.

Thee tape in question that was thrown was also bullshit. If anything, it actually made the SFPD look bad because they violently assaulted me as I opened my door despite my being fully cooperative.

The girl in question here, was herself so appalled by the false allegations made by the police, that she agreed to be photographed to demonstrate that there were no bruises or injuries. She could have left my apartment at any time during the argument. She felt safe and chose to stay. Those pictures she agreed to take would have been entered into evidence had my case proceeded, and they would have proven that the police claims were egregiously misleading.

Celebrities in sports, entertainment and business, and high net worth individuals in general are all potential targets. It was only a matter of time when I would fall prey.

I have to accept that many will still want to hate me no matter what I say to bring clarity to my legal case which is now over. But the fact of the matter is that they are jumping to conclusions based on falsified allegations. My case could not have settled in the way that it did if the allegations were true. Trust me, the DA’s were like a pack of rabid dogs coming after me. If they had a case, they would have stuck with it.

I only hope for two things: first that people who I work so hard to inspire are not discouraged by the false allegations and blogosphere spins, and, secondly, I hope others who are not in my shoes–and who have jumped on the bandwagon of criticism against me after the conclusion of my legal proceedings—will be open minded and give me the opportunity to tell them the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

I apologize to my family, my friends, employees, my customers and my investors all who have suffered from this bad publicity related to my personal matter. I have learned a lot from this experience, and I will continue to grow. As CEO of RadiumOne, I vow to make it a hugely successful company, a great place to work, and a wonderful partner in the community.

I’ve always wanted the best for others. I have been a tireless fighter against hate crimes through my Foundation, and a huge supporter of education through my scholarship funds. What I am proudest of in my success thus far in life is that I have created jobs and opportunities for people, while building commerce and strengthening our community. Actions speak louder than words, and it is these actions, not the false allegations and spins that you might have read through these various blogs shine light on my real character, on the person I truly am and always want to be.

What is the American Dream? That you can come from nothing and make something of yourself not once, not twice but three times, only to have all of it come crashing down from misinformation, that is spun wildly out of control into the world of make believe and then goes viral into the blogosphere. We need to hold on to the American Dream, and reject those who would rather make it a nightmare.

Our Founding Fathers believed in the dream, why not the bloggers.

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