A former flatmate of Brittany Higgins’ alleged rapist says she was forced to barricade her door after he burst into her room late at night demanding sex.
Kriti Gupta, 24, lived with the man for five months in Sydney from October 2019 after moving from Brisbane, and says he made multiple unwanted advances towards her during that period.
Ms Gupta met the man at a model UN conference in 2015, but only discovered he was the same man Ms Higgins claimed raped her earlier this month.
She said he barged into her room uninvited on two occasions.
“Whenever he wanted to go out, there was always a sexual undertone to it. Things like, ‘Yeah we’ll have a wild night, we’ll come home and relax and spend time with each other,’” she told NCA NewsWire.
“Every single time he was drunk he’d hit on me, he’d touch me. It was every fortnight.”
During one incident in December, Ms Gupta was forced to barricade her door when he burst in about 3am demanding sex.
“I heard him come home and I kind of froze, because I’d seen him come home drunk before and it was never a fun experience,” she said.
“I jumped back into bed and he barged into my room and demanded I have sex with him.
“I quickly closed the door and put my suitcase up against the door.”
A few hours after the incident, Ms Gupta boarded a flight to Europe for a month-long holiday. She said the man was asleep when she left.
“I thought, look, he’s drunk. By the time you’re back, he’ll have forgotten about it. I just excused it because I didn’t really have a choice,” she said.
Ms Gupta was not on the lease and paid rent directly to the man, who had the power to kick her out.
She said she was always intending to stay for a “short period of time” as she adjusted to Sydney.
“(But) even before I moved, he was creepy and sleazy towards me,” she said.
She rejected his advances, saying she had a boyfriend and making clear she was not interested in a sexual relationship.
But that “didn’t deter him from trying again and again”, she said.
Ms Gupta also claimed he was “very controlling” about who was allowed to stay over.
“He said my brother couldn’t stay because he was having people over … but then no one came over,” she said.
The only guest he allowed to stay was a female friend visiting Ms Gupta from Brisbane, she said.
“He found her ‘ridiculously attractive’, and he made that explicitly clear to me. So that’s why it was OK for her to stay,” she said.
Ms Gupta said she decided within two weeks not to drink heavily around him.
“I’ve been drunk in front of him at model UN conferences when we were surrounded by heaps of other people,” she said.
“But when we were one-on-one together, I would never have more than one or two glasses of wine, or two gins.
“I was very, very controlled because I didn’t feel safe being out of control around him.”
Former Liberal staffer Ms Higgins alleged she was raped by the man, who was a colleague, in the parliamentary offices of her then-boss Linda Reynolds in 2019.
The man was fired over a “security breach” after the alleged rape, but Ms Gupta said he never discussed the details of his departure from Ms Reynolds’ office.
“He just said he wanted to go into the private sector, which I thought was bullshit because all he’d ever wanted was a career in politics,” she said.
Ms Gupta has given a statement to the Australian Federal Police as part of their investigation into the matter.
She has become the fifth woman to come forward with allegations against the man, ranging from sexual harassment to rape.
Ms Gupta called for sexual harassment to be made illegal “in the home and in public”.
“Harassment is only illegal in the workplace, and I think that’s completely messed up,” she said.
“We should be free to walk down the street without feeling sexually harassed, we should be free to be in our homes without being sexually harassed by our housemates.”