New Delhi: A US journalist who accused former Union Minister M.J. Akbar of raping her 23 years ago, on Saturday slammed his statement where he said that they had a “consensual relationship”, saying that it wasn’t.
In a first person account in The Washington Post published on Friday, Pallavi Gogoi, now the chief business editor at National Public Radio (NPR), gave a detailed account of how she was allegedly raped by Akbar and narrated her ordeal of working under him when he was the editor of The Asian Age newspaper more than two decades ago.
Akbar on Friday said they had a “consensual relationship”, even as his wife accused Gogoi of lying.
Dismissing Akbar’s statement, Gogoi tweeted: “Rather than take responsibility for his abuse of me and his serial predation of other young women who have courageously come forward, Akbar has insisted — just like other infamous serial sexual abusers of women — that the relationship was consensual. It was not,”
She attacked the former minister by saying that “a relationship that is based on coercion, and abuse of power, is not consensual.”
“I stand by every word in my published account. I will continue to speak my truth so that other women who have been sexually assaulted by him know it is okay for them to come forward and speak their truth too,” Gogoi said.
With over a dozen journalists accusing him of sexual harassment and assault, Akbar quit as Minister of State for External Affairs on October 17. Denying the charges, he filed a criminal defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani who was the first to accuse him.