Bollywood actress and international model Mallika Sherawat has been beaten and robbed by three masked intruders outside her Paris apartment block, police revealed on Thursday.
The attack, in which the 40-year-old Indian actress and an unidentified male partner were teargassed and punched, came a month after reality TV star Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint in a neighbouring flat.
The alleged assault took place when the pair arrived at her residential building in the chic 16th arrondissement of Paris at 9.40pm.
According to Le Parisien, the French capital’s daily newspaper, the criminals wore scarves across their faces and “without saying a word, sprayed their victims with tear gas before punching them”?
They then fled, leaving a shocked Ms Sherawat and her friend to call the emergency services.
A criminal investigation has been launched, with detectives working on the assumption that this was an attempted robbery.
Ms Sherawat whose real name is Reema Lamba, has previously spoken out against the number of attacks on woman in her home country of India, including honour killings and gang rapes.
While promoting her film Bachelorette India two years ago, she said that since dividing her time between living in Los Angeles and India, “when I’ve experienced that social freedom, when I go back to India, which is so regressive for women, it’s depressing. As an independent women, it’s really depressing”.
The attack comes weeks after Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint in the French capital. A gang of five robbers escaped with millions of pounds worth of jewels from her Paris flat on 3 October.
Ms Kardashian and a night concierge were tied up at gunpoint by the gang, who are still at large.
The attack made international headlines and prompted Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo to insist that the capital is a safe place for celebrities.
Paris is the most visited tourist city in the world, but has seen the number of visits drop since the Islamist terrorist attacks a year ago that left 130 dead.