New Delhi: US-based journalist Pallavi Gogoi, who accused Union minister M J Akbar of raping her 23 years ago, said that his wife’s claim that they had a consensual relationship when she worked at The Asian Age was not true.

In a tweet, Gogoi said it was not a consensual relationship.

"A relation that is based on coercion and abuse of power is not consensual," she said.


In an op-ed article for The Washington Post, Gogoi had recounted her ordeal and accused Akbar of raping her. While many women have come forward to accuse Akbar of abuse, this is the first time that he has been accused of rape.

"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," Gogoi said in her statement.

Gogoi said she stood "by every word" in her published account in The Washington Post

On Friday, Akbar, who had to quit as minister after over 20 women accused him of sexual misconduct when they worked with him at several newspapers, rejected Gogoi's charge saying the two were in a "consensual relationship".

This "consensual relationship ended, perhaps not on [the] best note," Akbar said. He also suggested that various others who worked with him and Pallavi then would bear testimony to his version of events.

Akbar's wife Mallika Akbar also issued a statement and said that a "me too campaign" has been "unleashed" against her husband and that she needed to speak up.

Mallika said her husband had cheated on her with Gogoi, who "caused unhappiness and discord" in the Akbars' home. 

Mallika said that Akbar chose to "prioritise" his family after she confronted him with evidence of his extra-marital relationship with Pallavi.

(with agency inputs)