Popular tarot card reader and page 3 regular Poonam Sethi could not have predicted that she would spend her Wednesday evening fighting off allegations that she ran a sex racket in the city.
The Delhi party circuit was abuzz on Wednesday after an SMS from an unidentified local number did the rounds, alleging that the astrologer had an "alternative business" of supplying "young men to sex-starved married women". HT City received the SMS, as did most other publications.
Sethi, who was at an event at a Saket mall when the SMS started circulating, immediately sprang into action. "I am not a pimp. I'm shattered at the allegations. Why would someone try to do such a thing to malign my reputation?" Sethi and a social-worker friend, Rashi Mehra, went to the Kirti Nagar police station and lodged a complaint, a copy of which is with HT City. In the complaint, she said "marital discord" was behind the allegations. In response, her husband, Sanjay Sethi, said, "My phone hasn't stopped ringing; everyone's asking me about the scandal. I'm equally shocked."
Police are investigating. "We have noted down all the necessary details and are investigating the matter. We are here for the safety of all citizens, and will ensure that the culprit is caught," said Kailsh Chandra, SHO, Kirti Nagar police station.
Party regulars are stunned. "I did get the SMS, and was completely shocked. I have known Poonam, and to have something like this happen to you must be absolutely devastating," said socialite Thenny Mejia. "I was at a show when almost everyone there got this SMS. I'm sure she's not involved in any such activity. I can only imagine the pain that this must cause her and her children. I hope the authorities will take due action," says grooming expert Mehar Bhasin. Emcee Ramneek Pantal is also supportive. "If someone has gone about making such claims about her, I'm sure they're all lies. I have no clue why such crazy claims are being made about her."