New Delhi: Refuting a journalist’s allegations of rape, former editor-turned-politician MJ Akbar released a statement on Friday claiming that they were in a “consensual relationship” which spanned over several months.
He says that the “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.”
A US-based journalist of Indian origin wrote in a blog piece for Washington Post alleging that she was raped by Akbar on several times more than two decades ago.
Akbar’s wife Mallika has also come out in his defence.
“I don’t know her reasons for telling this lie, but a lie it is,” she said.
Mallika added that the woman had reportedly “caused unhappiness and discord in our home.”
“I learned of her and my husband’s involvement through her calls and her public display of affection in my presence. In her flaunting the relationship, she caused anguish and hurt to my entire family,” she added.
Akbar resigned from the Union Council of Ministers on October 17 after his name cropped up on the social media in the #MeToo campaign. Multiple women accused him of alleged sexual harassment when he was the editor.
Akbar had termed the allegations “false, fabricated and deeply distressing”.
He filed a criminal defamation case against another woman journalist who accused him of harassment.
“Indeed there was an immediate damage because of the scurrilous nature of these concocted and false allegations. I was attacked in my personal capacity about alleged and fabricated non-events allegedly done two decades ago,” he said in his statement.
The court has fixed November 12 for further hearing of the case when the statements of witnesses named by Akbar will be recorded.