ASSAULT – A global music star who is an ambassador of an anti-violence charity founded by King Charles has been filmed slapping and assaulting a band member.
The shocking footage shows Pakistani folk singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan – an ambassador for the King’s British Asian Trust which tackles domestic violence – attacking a backing singer on a US tour.
He Admitted the Assault
Khan, 49, who has eight million followers on social media, rained blows on the man with a slipper and dragged him around by his hair during the brutal attack at a hotel in Houston, Texas, last year. Last night he admitted the assault, saying: ‘He was my student and I hit him. He has no objection.’
The video will cause shockwaves across the Indian subcontinent and Britain’s Asian community and embarrass the British Asian Trust, which helps domestic violence victims and runs mental health initiatives across India and Pakistan.
Khan has performed to packed arenas in the UK and around the world. At a sold-out show at Wembley, he was joined on stage by London Mayor who called him ‘brother’.
About British Asian Trust
Khan has met the King several times as ambassador to the British Asian Trust. It was founded by Charles in 2007 to tackle poverty and build community relations.
His Works are Used in Production
Khan’s vocals were used in Mel Gibson’s 2007 movie Apocalypto and he contributed to the soundtrack of 1995 film Dead Man Walking. He made his Hollywood acting debut in What’s Love Got To Do With It?, starring Lily James, in 2022. The film was directed by his friend Jemima Khan, ex-wife of former Pakistan Premier Imran Khan.
Last week, this newspaper was sent three videos of Khan striking his bandmate.
What Happened in the Clip
In one 22-second clip, casually dressed Khan is seen arguing with the man in a green T-shirt, shouting at him: ‘Where is my bottle? I am going to hit you. Have you seen my bottle?’
The victim meekly replies: ‘I did not have it, sir. Which bottle?’
Members of Khan’s entourage stand and watch. The third video, however, shows three bandmates trying to pull Khan away as the men grapple on the floor.
A source familiar with the incident said the argument may have been over a bottle of liquor.
Why he Did what he Did
But last night Khan denied this and said his bandmate had lost a bottle of ‘spiritual water’ given to him by a holy man. He said: ‘He was my student and I hit him. He lost my special bottle of water, he was responsible for it, he accepted it.
‘And he has no objection to me beating him. No one has an objection if I punished my student because he lost my spiritual bottle of water. He has even asked me for forgiveness.’ In Pakistan, the British Asian Trust says it has trained 160 teachers in spotting mental health issues in students.
Khan is considered the greatest living singer of a genre of music famous in Pakistan called Qawwali, which has its origins in the poetry and music of Islamic mystics, known as Sufis.
British Asian Trust said: ‘We take all accusations of abuse seriously and we will look into this urgently.’