Less than a day after he was hit with yet another sexual harassment allegation, this time of rape, former Minister of State for External Affairs (MoS MEA) MJ Akbar has refuted each and every claim made against him.
Akbar, who had been accused by as many as 16 women of misbehavior during the time he was working as a journalist, saw the number rise up to 17 on Friday when chief business editor for NPR, Pallavi Gogoi, in her article at Washington Post, accused him of twice trying to sexually assault her, before going onto rape her in the third attempt.
The under-fire MP has denied the recent allegations, though, has admitted to having a relationship with Pallavi in the past. He released a statement through ANI on this matter, which read:
On Oct 29, the Washington Post forwarded to my lawyers a series of cryptic and non-specific questions, regarding incidents alleged to have taken place approximately 23 years ago. These allegations were false and were consequently denied.
On 2 Nov, 2018, the Washington Post ran a piece written by Ms. Pallavi Gogoi, detailing false allegations of rape and violence against me. I have had occasion to read this article and it has become necessary, at this point in time, to bring certain facts to light.
Somewhere around 1994, Ms. Pallavi Gogoi&I entered into consensual relationship that spanned several months.This relationship gave rise to talk &would later cause strife in my home life as well. This consensual relationship ended, perhaps not on best note.
Ppl who worked with me&knew both of us have indicated that they would be happy to bear testimony to what is stated above&at no stage, did the behavior of Pallavi Gogoi, give any one of them impression that she was working under duress.
Pallavi had penned down her horror in an article, wherein she alleged that after she joined Asian Age and became an Op-Ed editor, she was allegedly pounced upon by Akbar in the first of his three attempts.
It was then followed by a similar incident a few months later, where Akbar not only tried to kiss Pallavi, but had also allegedly left behind scratches on her face when she tried to resist and leave.
After the two incidents, Pallavi has stated that she tried to avoid Akbar by coming early to office and leaving for reporting earlier than usual. But an official work trip to Jaipur meant she came in direct contact with Akbar in a hotel room, wherein he allegedly forced himself upon her and raped her.