Kirat Assi’s Case Against Simran Bhogal Is Ongoing

The popular podcast may be over, but the case certainly isn’t.

by Sophie McEvoy
Originally Published: 
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The podcast sensation Sweet Bobby may have come to an end last November, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions. For those who have yet to listen to the multi-part catfishing investigation, it follows host Alexi Mostrous as he uncovers exactly how Kirat Assi was duped by a man called “Bobby”, who was actually her distant cousin Simran Bhogal, for ten years.

In 2020, Assi successfully won a “substantial settlement” in a civil case against Bhogal for “harassment, misuse of private information, and data protection breaches”, according to the Guardian. However, a criminal case has yet to be brought against Bhogal, as catfishing is not a criminal offence in the UK.

Assi hopes to change that, as she recently told the Sunday Times. On top of that, the original investigation into Bhogal that was dropped by the police may potentially be re-opened. So what’s actually going on with the Sweet Bobby case, and how can you keep track of it?

What’s Happening With Kirat’s Case Now?

At the end of the final episode, host Alexi Mostrous made it clear that he’s going to stick with the case “whatever happens, not least to see if the police reopen their investigation” because “true justice has yet to come for Kirat”. During the episode, Assi revealed that the case, which was initially dropped by Hounslow Police, may be reopened. Assi has since taken her case to the Independent Body of Police Conduct (IOPC), who believe that Hounslow police “hadn’t properly considered Kirat’s evidence”. An appeal is currently underway.

Mostrous also encouraged Simran Bhogal to get in contact to explain her side of the story. The only communication Sweet Bobby received from Bhogal was a statement via her lawyers, which read:

“This matter concerns a family dispute over events that began over a decade ago, when I was a schoolgirl. As far as I’m concerned, this is a private family matter that has been resolved. I strongly object to the numerous unfounded and seriously defamatory accusations that have been made about me, as well as details of private matters that have been shared with the media.”

What Has Kirat Assi Said About The Case Since The Podcast Ended?

Following the end of Sweet Bobby, Kirat Assi has spoken to numerous outlets about her experience. Most recently, Assi told the Sunday Times that catfishing should become a criminal offence in the UK. “I think it might serve as a deterrent for a lot of people to know if you’re caught, then immediately it’s a crime, just like driving with a mobile in your hand,” she said.

Assi referred to her experience of being catfished as “online entrapment,” since she was targeted on social media rather than a dating site. “I’m private online,” she continued. “The connotations associated with the term catfishing are that it’s fun. This impacted my health, my family, my friends, social life, my radio work, my career — absolutely everything.”

In an interview with the Guardian, Assi also elaborated on just how much this ordeal has affected her. “It was the slow destruction of everything I had,” she said. “Bobby targeted every part of my life — my dreams, my hopes, my relationship with my family, my friends, my studies [...] the other impact has been on my mental and physical health.”

While Assi wants Bhogal “to be held accountable for her actions and take responsibility” for what she did, Assi also wants her cousin to get help with her mental health if she needs it, too.

On Feb. 20, Assi opened up about the podcast on social media and how the popularity of Sweet Bobby has been “overwhelming & exhausting.” Thanking those who have “taken the time to listen, sent lovely messages and even shared your own experiences”, she added that she has also received negative comments and assumptions about her story.

“For those who sadly choose to make assumptions without listening properly or victim blame, all I can say is I pray it never happens to you or your loved ones,” she wrote. “It’s always about the perpetrator, not the victim.”

How To Follow The Sweet Bobby Case As It Unfolds

There’s been little update to the actual case since Sweet Bobby finished airing, but you can follow Kirat Assi (@JustKirat) and Alexi Mostrous (@AlexiMostrous) on Twitter for more info on the case as it appears, as well as streaming service Tortoise (@tortoise), which produces the podcast.

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