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World

Web Desk
November 2, 2018
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MJ Akbar denies rape charge, says relationship with US journalist was 'consensual'

World

Web Desk
Fri, Nov, 18

NEW DELHI: Former Union Minister MJ Akbar Friday has denied the charges of rape levelled by a US-based journalist, saying he had a “consensual relationship” spanning several months with Pallavi Gogoi but it ended “perhaps not on the best note,” Indian Express reported.

“Somewhere around 1994, Ms. Pallavi Gogoi and I entered into consensual relationship that spanned several months. This relationship gave rise to talk and would later cause strife in my home life as well. This consensual relationship ended, perhaps not on best note,” Akbar told in a statement to news agency ANI.

In a column for The Washington Post, Gogoi, Chief Business Correspondent of National Public Radio (NPR), accused the former minister of raping her while she was working as the editor of The Asian Age two decades back in India.

She recounted the alleged sexual assault she faced at the hands of Akbar after she joined the newspaper as a 22-year-old.

Terming Gogoi’s allegations as “false”, Akbar said: “Several people who worked with me and knew both of us have come forward to indicate that they would be happy to bear testimony to what is stated above and, at no stage, did the behavior of Ms. Pallavi Gogoi, give any one of them the impression that she was working under, or in any way, under duress.”

Gogoi’s allegations come two days after Akbar appeared in court to record evidence in his defamation suit against journalist Priya Ramani, the first woman to level sexual harassment allegations against him. Akbar stated that Ramani’s alleged “defamatory articles” on him were a “figment of imagination” and intended to “malign” his reputation.

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