November 3, 2018:
Pallavi Gogoi, who was a 22-year-old journalist at The Asian Age when the alleged incident took place.
Calling MJ Akbar as a “serial abuser”, Pallavi Gogoi, who accused him of rape, said that instead of taking responsibility of his “abuse of her”, the ex-editor has reacted in a way common among “other infamous serial sexual abusers of women”.
Akbar, who has been accused of rape by Gogoi in an article published in The Washington Post, has denied the allegations, insisting that his relationship with Gogoi “was consensual”.
Gogoi, who was a 22-year-old journalist at The Asian Age when the alleged incident took place, however, has rejected his claims in a statement released on Twitter.
“Yesterday, The Washington Post published my first-hand account of being physically, verbally and sexually assaulted by MJ Akbar.
I was in my early 20s, an aspiring journalist, and an employee at the newspaper he led. 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.
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’s okay for them to come forward and speak their truth too.”
On Friday, Akbar’s wife Mallika Akbar had also called Gogoi’s allegation of rape “a lie”. “I don’t know what Gogoi’s reasons are for telling this lie, but a lie it is.”
Akbar has been accused of sexual harassment by at least 15 women since a wave of #MeToo took Indian newsrooms by storm about a month ago.
While the previous allegations were of “sexual misconduct”, Gogoi is the first to have accused Akbar of rape.