Apprentice star head-butted in horrific homophobic attack
Apprentice contestant Sanjay Sood-Smith has revealed he previously suffered a violent homophobic attack at university.
The reality star, who was given the boot from the show last night, told rucomingout.com: “I remember one guy at my university not taking kindly to it when he found out I was gay and he head-butted me in the face.
“He walked off and I remember sitting there in disbelief. When I told the bouncer in the bar we were in what had happened, he simply responded, ‘Well what am I supposed to do about it?’”
The businessman was also subject to abuse as a young child and was even forced to leave his primary school two years early after being bullied.
He said: “As an eight-year-old, having the nickname ‘Sad-gay Sod-Smith’ chanted at you all day, every day, really was very distressing.
“I think the thing to note is that anyone who is perceived by others as being different can potentially become a target and I think we just need to work towards getting rid of the concept of ‘being different’ entirely and just see people as what we are, individuals.”
Sanjay also criticised former Apprentice contestant Katie Hopkins for suggesting that he and Bianca Miller had previously avoided being fired in the boardroom by Lord Sugar because of his sexual orientation and her race.
Hopkins had tweeted: “Sanjay and Bianca made it through. The BBC has diversity criteria to adhere to. No one wants Lenny Henry kicking off.”
Sanjay replied: “The implication that the decision not to fire me and Bianca due to diversity criteria really shocked me and I find it really disappointing that someone in a position of influence such as her perpetuates these out of date attitudes.
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“I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in my career and if anyone tried to imply that this was based on people seeing me as a way to tick an ethnicity box or a sexuality box I’d be furious! It certainly makes the fight for equal rights and the fair treatment of people more difficult when the achievements of minorities are undermined by comments like that.”
Hopkins is no stranger to making offensive remarks. In December 2013 she described Tom Daley as an “irritating twerp”, suggesting it was his own fault that he had been bullied at school.