TBILISI, DFWatch–The actress Tatia Samkharadze, or Taso Barnova as she is also known, claims that journalist and producer Shalva Ramishvili sexually harassed her.
“I confirm that [my] former boss, Shalva Ramishvili, sexually harassed me, and it was systematic. I was forced to quit the job and appeal to the management for help,” Samkharadze said at a press conference on Friday, held at the office of Open Society Georgia Foundation together with the members of Women’s Movement.
She said that she spoke with Imedi TV’s director Giorgi Bakhtadze and has an audio recording of Ramishvili admitting that he harassed her and promising that he will end the harassment and blackmail about ending her carrier. But despite his promise, Samkharadze said, Ramishvili continued his offenses, which is why she left the job.
“The audio file is now being examined at Samkharauli forensic bureau to determine its authenticity. After the examination, I will go to court,” she added.
Samkharadze said that former employees of Ramishvili called her saying that they have had the same problems with him.
“I will go to court and do my best to prove that I am telling the truth. I don’t plan to return to Imedi TV. It is not right when girls go to a TV company and are told that their career can only succeed through someone’s bedroom. I lost [my] career and job and plan to fight until the end.”
Shalva Ramishvili, the host of the talk show Politics was fired by Imedi on April 5.
The management of the TV company didn’t give any reasons for the firing, but Ramishvili contacted the Prosecutor General’s Office a few days ago about having his labor contract terminated. He said that the reason was alleged accusations against him about sexual harassment and that there was a secret audio file which contains signs of crime and harms his reputation.
On his Facebook page, Ramishvili responded to Samkharadze’s press conference by apologizing to his wife, children and family members. He called on the actress to cooperate with investigative bodies.
“I am aware that some of you do not like me and even hate me. I haven’t lived the life of a saint, but never have been violent. I want to remind every citizen that the Constitution and laws protect every citizen, including me, and including the presumption of innocence. Accusations against me are part of a campaign. Everything is like a staged scenario,” he wrote, adding that he desires to clear everything up at the Prosecutor General’s Office or in court.
He also writes that the TV company acted shamefully and contributed to the spreading of compromising rumors about him by remaining silent. At the end of his post, he publicly apologized to his wife and family.
“I am astonished by the strength of my wife, who despite so much filth, still supports me and encourages me.”
Ramishvili was questioned at the Prosecutor General’s Office on Friday.