Robert De Niro Sought as Potential Witness in Indian Rape Investigation

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Oscar winner was at a conference where Tarun J. Tejpal is accused of assaulting a colleague

Police in India are asking Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro for help with their investigation into sexual assault allegations against journalist Tarun J. Tejpal.

A female colleague accused Teipal of assaulting her in a hotel elevator during a conference for his magazine Tehelka, according to a report by Al Jazeera.

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Part of her work at the conference had involved escorting De Niro and his daughter to various events. Police have asked De Niro for information, but have not been able to talk to him because of his travel schedule, the New York Times reports.

De Niro was in New York City on Monday, making a guest appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” A representative for De Niro did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tejpal is an award-winning reporter and novelist who has been praised for exposing political corruption. He has been in prison since last fall and faces more than seven years in prison if convicted, the Times reports.

Initially, Teipal apologized to his accuser for his conduct in a letter in which he blamed “an awful misreading of the situation.”