Arlette Grao. Pic/Instagram

Arlette Grao files a police complaint against agency, models still await their remuneration

By Mohar Basu | Mumbai

Updated: 26 October, 2020 08:10 IST

29 more models join fight led by Arlette Grao against talent management agency TFM 360 over non-payment of dues.

After anonymous Instagram handle Diet Sabya reported that talent management company TFM 360 had failed to clear the dues of its models since 2018, the Ashish N Soni co-owned agency had told mid-day that they had "every intention to pay" its team, and were waiting for bills to clear. Four weeks since this paper reported the news, a major chunk of the company's models are still awaiting their remuneration.

Also read: Intend To File Legal Case Against Agency, Says Model Arlette Grao

After initially sending a legal notice to the company, prime complainant Arlette Grao has now filed a police complaint on behalf of 29 other aggrieved parties as well at the Bandra police station. In her complaint, she has named TFM co-owner Soni, and senior management associates Rishu Bartaria and Preity Venu. Grao's legal counsel Karan Balraj Mehta tells mid-day, "Thirty models have collectively filed a complaint via Arlette. She hasn't filed a case yet, but is in the process of doing so. TFM lawyers had reached out for a settlement, and had shown interest in clearing the dues. But, nothing came out of it eventually. They merely set up a grievance cell to ask aggrieved parties for details of how much they were owed, but they [agency] made no effort thereafter."

Mehta adds that the company needs to establish an appropriately structured payment plan to address the sizable amount that needs to be dispensed. "Right now, they owe about Rs 80 lakhs to 30 people. Payments that were due before the pandemic struck also need to be cleared."

Amounts north of Rs 5 lakh are owed to international models who are among the lot that has filed the case against the agency. "I have been told that the first point of contact at the agency is the Bombay office, which redirects one to Delhi. If a conversation on this matter is initiated with the Delhi unit, they subsequently stop answering calls and eventually block people. Models need a collective association, like [the CINTAA] that is available for actors, to protect their interests."
mid-day reached out to TFM 360, which did not respond till press time.

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First Published: 26 October, 2020 07:14 IST

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