Here’s what Pallavi Gogoi has to say about MJ Akbar’s “Consensual” Remark

NEW DELHI: The US-based journalist, who has accused MJ Akbar of raping her 23 years ago, corrected her former boss that a relationship based on coercion and abuse of power can’t be consensual. “I stand by every word in my published account,” she said about her allegation on the former editor-in-chief of The Asian Age.

Pallavi Gogoi wrote in The Washington Post about her “painful memories”, the alleged assault at a Jaipur hotel and how he “continued to defile her sexually, verbally and emotionally”.

The journalist-turned-politician had to quit as minister after over 20 women accused him of sexual misconduct when they worked with him at several newspapers. But on Friday MJ Akbar rejected Pallavi Gogoi’s charge saying the two were in a “consensual relationship”.

“Somewhere around 1994, Ms Pallavi Gogoi and I entered into a 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,” the journalist-turned-politician told ANI.

The former junior foreign minister’s wife supported him and blamed the journalist for causing “unhappiness and discord in our home” over 20 years ago.

An editor at the National Public Radio (NPR), Ms Gogoi said she decided to write the piece for her teenage daughter and son. “So they know to fight back when anyone victimizes them. So they know never to victimize anyone.

She also believed that her account would encourage others “who have been sexually assaulted by him” to come forward and speak their truth too.

But when her alleged sexual assault was labelled as “consensual relationship” by MJ Akbar, she 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.”

MJ Akbar had earlier dismissed versions by other accusers and sued one of them for defamation.
He accused Priya Ramani, the first woman to call him out, of “intentionally putting forward malicious, fabricated and salacious” allegations to harm his reputation.