The news of celebrity TV artist, Sarah Hyland, being groped by an overzealous fan has been already widely reported and condemned. However, latest reports streaming in suggests that the assaulter has a history of such indecent acts as he was also found to have groped Sandra Bullock in a similar red carpet even last year.
Twenty-three-year-old Hyland had displayed remarkable courage and presence of mind when she refused to stand down against her assaulter, Nedal Lakmas. She quickly brushed the man away from her and yelled at him, thereby ensuring that the security apparatus at the venue arrested the man immediately. Her swift action lead to further probe into Lakmas’s history and that is when the video of Sandra Bullock surfaced.
The twenty-nine-year-old accused, seems to have had made such inappropriate acts into a habit along with obsessive need to be part of all celebrity events. Almost a year before his arrest at the Qantas event in Sydney, he was seen being reprimanded by Sandra Bullock. Lakmas tried to brush his hand by Bullock’s breast and was soon reprimanded by Bullock for his act.
In the footage which recently came to the fore, a shocked Sandra Bullock asked her assaulter to not touch her breasts. The security around Bullock also reacted almost instantly and pulled his hand away, directing him to calm himself down.
That the Sarah Hyland groping incident was an exact replica of the Sandra Bullock incident goes on to prove that Lakmas moved without the fear of being caught. Encouraged by the lack of action, he would have continued with his act in various other events as well which, hitherto, remains unreported.
A relative of Nedal Lakmas seems to differ in his opinion on him with respect to what is being widely reported. The uncle refuses to believe that Lakmas was involved in such an indecent act and believes that he has been completely misunderstood. Lakmas is also said to be suffering with a medical condition and unfortunately his actions has been attributed to this very illness.
The relative goes on to explain the enthusiasm and love that Lakmas finds in meeting the celebrities and being in their company. Lakmas is also reported to be repeatedly crying at being accused of touching Sarah Hyland. The ever-changing media reports on the incident of Lakmas touching either Hyland’s boob or her bum has further disturbed both the relative and Lakmas equally.
However, with the release of the Sandra Bullock event footage, the truth speaks for itself against Lakmas. It also puts forward a disturbing question on whether, if Bullock had taken action against Lakmas at that point in time, then the Sarah Hyland incident could have been averted.
Sarah Hyland may have returned to filming her soap and also would have moved ahead bravely. However, her decision to take action against her alleged assaulter should put Lakmas and all others like him to their place. It would also act as a deterrent to people like him who think that it is alright to grope and assault celebrities like Hyland and Sandra Bullock at will. As women across the world brave similar sexual advances and assaults on a regular basis, such action will inspire them not to push aside such incidents in their own lives.
By Daris Abraham