Theshen Naicker, who is better known as alter ego ‘Aunty Sheila’, became the victim of an alleged homophobic attack at a society event last week.

Durban - It was no laughing matter when Durban celebrity Theshen Naicker, who is better known as alter ego “Aunty Sheila”, was the victim of an alleged homophobic attack at a society event last week.

Naicker was among a small group of stars from the local entertainment industry who had gathered at Durban’s Pavilion Hotel to celebrate movie maker and director Dr Eubulus Timothy for his achievements with his movie Deep End.

But Naicker had to make an early exit when a well-known blogger swore at him, repeatedly called him a m***ie, and manhandled the Broken Promises 4 star.

It has emerged the man who allegedly attacked Naicker in a passage leading to the hotel’s toilets, had previously interviewed him after his Broken Promises 4 performance.

The two had interacted thereafter but the relationship apparently soured after Naicker posted photos of the man’s wife on social media in April, which he demanded be removed.

Following the bust-up last week, Naicker, who has been open about being gay, laid a complaint with the police and hasn’t ruled out further legal action.

SAPS provincial spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele confirmed that a case of common assault was being investigated.

Naicker’s attorney, Keegan Govender, said: “The incident has left my client deeply traumatised. Therefore, he is also considering other legal avenues available to him. He has reported the matter to the police, so I cannot comment further at this stage.”

Mrs India SA brand ambassador Natasha Nayager, who is Naicker’s friend, accompanied him to the event.

Naicker decided to use the toilet at the start of the event; that’s when Nayager heard a bang and believed something might be amiss. Perhaps he had fallen, she thought.

When she looked down the passage leading to the toilet area, she saw that the other man had Naicker pinned against a wall.

“He was swearing loudly at Theshen. I got in-between the two and I said to the other man: ‘Dude, tell me what is going on?’

“The man used vulgar language and said: ‘who does Theshen think he is, why did he greet me?”’

Nayager claimed the man looked highly intoxicated and when she probed further about his aggressive behaviour, “he said something about an episode between Theshen and his wife. I said: ‘He’s not interested in your wife. He’s gay.”’

Nayager said her efforts to calm the man were fruitless because “he was carrying on over my head and kept pushing Theshen with his finger”.

Naicker and Nayager eventually managed to walk away. They were met near the entrance by one of the event co-ordinators.

“The co-ordinator was speaking to Theshen when the attacker approached them in the company of his bodyguard,” Nayager said.

“The bodyguard asked Theshen to go into the passage with the other man. I said: ‘No! He won’t,’” Nayager responded.

“Things got hectic again. The man was shouting and tried to pull Theshen by the hand into the passage.”

Nayager believed the incident was a homophobic attack on Naicker because the attacker continuously referred to her friend as a “m***ie”.

“Theshen became very emotional and was left feeling very embarrassed by what had transpired, and we left,” said Nayager.

The alleged attacker said: “Facts are being distorted due to Mr Naicker making this a publicity stunt to get public support. Currently, there is a criminal case against me. Therefore, I’ve been advised by my attorney, Faizel Kara, not to make a statement which could be self-incriminating.”

Sunday Tribune