Editor-turned-politician MJ Akbar, who had to resign as union minister over sex harassment allegations against him, has now been accused of rape by a US-based journalist who worked with him over two decades ago, according to NDTV.
MJ Akbar has dismissed the allegations as false, his lawyer told The Washington Post, which has published the first person account of Pallavi Gogoi, an editor at the National Public Radio (NPR).
Pallavi Gogoi writes that MJ Akbar was the Editor-In-Chief at The Asian Age when she joined the newspaper as a "22-year-old star-struck journalist".
Recounting the incident when MJ Akbar had called her to his hotel in Jaipur, she writes, "In his hotel room, even though I fought him, he was physically more powerful. He ripped off my clothes and raped me. Instead of reporting him to the police, I was filled with shame. I didn't tell anyone about this then. Would anyone have believed me? I blamed myself. Why did I go to the hotel room?"
This was the beginning of her trauma.
"...he continued to defile me sexually, verbally, emotionally," she adds.
Over 20 former colleagues of MJ Akbar have come out with their versions of abuse by a powerful newsman. He sued one of them for defamation.
MJ Akbar has accused Priya Ramani, the first woman to call him out, of "intentionally putting forward malicious, fabricated and salacious" allegations to harm his reputation.
Pallavi Gogoi says she had confided in her friends, who were also allegedly assaulted by the author-editor. "I was in shreds -- emotionally, physically, mentally."
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