RadiumOne board fires CEO Gurbaksh Chahal over domestic violence case

After a huge media backlash (this site included,) over his involvement in a domestic violence and battery case, RadiumOne CEO Gurbaksh Chahal has been removed from his position at the ad tech software company.

31-year-old Chahal had been accused of beating, choking and dragging his girlfriend 117 times in half an hour at his San Francisco apartment. The district attorney’s office claimed there was a tape of the incident which provided hard evidence. However, it was deemed inadmissible in court due to the police seizing it without a warrant. Furthermore, the victim and her lawyer refused to cooperate with the authorities, and Chahal got off without a felony charge or jail time, instead receiving a minor fine and community service.

Many in the tech community were outraged, and fellow tech CEO and investors called for Chahal’s dismissal as CEO. Chahal remained defiant until the end, posting a vehement, and bitter defense of his innocence this morning in a blog post. A few hours later, he was fired by the RadiumOne board, with COO Bill Lonergan taking over as CEO.

In his post, Chahal alleges that he lost his temper because his girlfriend was “having sex for money” and he regrets the incident, which he says has been completely exaggerated. He also said he was being attacked for his status and ethnicity as an Indian Sikh. 

Here is the blog post, which must be read in its entirety to really experience the level of delusion grandiosity Chahal embodies.

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.

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