Angelina Jolie’s British bodyguards, accused of assaulting and racially abusing (“you bloody Indians”) students and parents at Anjum-e-Islam School, found themselves in deep trouble on Friday. The bodyguards — Thomas McAdams (47), Robert Dunn (35) and Michael Brett (50) — were arrested by the Azad Maidan police even as parents claimed that they did not stop at the racial slur.
Police Inspector Avinash Sonawane said the bodyguards even hurled religious abuse and threatened, “I will kill you… f*#$@ you.”
The bodyguards didn’t show much restraint when summoned to the police station either. Sonawane said that Brett, the seniormost, erupted, asking: “Why are you hotting up?” A stunned Sonawane replied: “I am a police officer. Don’t you dare teach me how to enforce our law.” A seething Sonawane ordered Brett to stand up, saying, “I will now treat you as accused persons are treated here. Stand up and stay that way till proceedings are completed.” It was a good 90 minutes before Brett was allowed to sit.
But the trouble didn’t end there. An officer caught a female member of Jolie’s film crew video-taping the proceedings at the police station. The tape was deleted on Sonawane’s orders.
Later, McAdams, Dunn and Brett were produced before a local court. They were granted bail on a surety of Rs 25,000 each but were asked to present themselves every day before the investigating officer till November 23. They were also ordered to surrender their passports to him.
The police have charged the bodyguards under Sections 506 (Part 2) (threat to kill), 298 (uttering words with intent to hurt religious feelings) and 323 (assault) of the Indian Penal Code.
Meanwhile, Jolie’s partner Brad Pitt, whose company is co-producing the film, and co-star Irrfan Khan met Police Commissioner AN Roy.
“They clarified that they had no intention of hurting anyone’s religious feelings or harming the children or their parents. They expressed regret about Thursday’s incident,” Roy said.
Senior Police Inspector Khanvilkar, meanwhile, said he has written to the UK Consulate, asking it to “explain who allowed the bodyguards to carry sophisticated walky-talkies, batons and arms”. The heat is also on the school management for not having “intimated the police about Thursday’s shoot”.
Reacting to the charges against her bodyguards, Jolie said in a faxed statement to HT: “It is not surprising that the press involved failed to mention their share of the responsibility in the chaos… As for this horrible rumour that someone referred to a local man as ‘bloody Indian’, let me say this: I would never work with anyone who was derogatory towards another man’s race. My family is of mixed race.”