"Live in such a way that if someone spoke badly of you, nobody would even believe it." That's a little motivational speaking from Gurbaksh Chahal, the pretty thoroughly disgraced ad tech mogul who rose to fame after selling a startup for $300 million before falling precipitously from grace when two women came forward to allege that he had, in similar fashions, hit and kicked them repeatedly in his San Francisco penthouse apartment. Today, the public will learn whether or not a court of law believes that Chahal deserves jail time for violating his probation, which a judge determined last month he had done with that second alleged attack.
Update: According to Ellen Huet of Bloomberg on Twitter as well as Business Insider and others, Chahal got 12 months in county jail in a sentence that's been stayed pending an appeal, which his lawyers have 30 days to file. He'll be released today on bail of $250,0000. The District Attorney, it seems, was seeking a heavier sentence: 18 months.
Gurbaksh Chahal, tech mogul who punched and kicked girlfriend 117 times, caught on video, arrives for sentencing pic.twitter.com/QbMIeZAzvF— Sam Levin (@SamTLevin) August 12, 2016
Chahal was charged with 47 felonies in 2013, as prosecutors claimed that video from the penthouse showed the now 34-year-old hitting and kicking his then-girlfriend 117 times. During the case, Chahal consulted former mayor and practicing attorney Willie Brown, whom he paid handsomely, and the video was later deemed inadmissible because it was found that it had been illegally seized. “We did put together a fabulous defense team under, you know, the canons of ethic, Brown said after his involvement was revealed. Chahal pleaded guilty of just two misdemeanors: "We followed all of the rules and regulations and saved him.” That video, however, has now been introduced as evidence after last month;s probation ruling, likely influencing today's sentence
Awaiting that, Bloomberg dug into Chahal's troubled business life, finding damning and disturbing details of his treatment of employees and women generally. Some things in the piece are just plain bizarre: For example, Chahal "created an alter ego named Christian Gray, according to a half dozen people familiar with the situation."
"The character, who shares a very similar name with one from 50 Shades of Grey, has his own LinkedIn page featuring a head shot of Josh Dallas, an actor who appears on the ABC fairytale drama Once Upon a Time. Chahal would e-mail marketing professionals as Gray, and when he hooked a potential customer, the CEO would berate staff for being outsold by a fake person, said the people, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution. Two people said Chahal had at times used Gray’s sales leads as an excuse to fire workers."
Bloomberg also found aSoundcloud account of an album Chahal produced and released a holiday party at his company, Gravity4. Chahal contributed to the album's outro track, and it's complete psychobabble. "Live in such a way that if someone spoke badly of you, nobody would even believe it," says Chahal. We'll see about that. Update: Indeed.