MJ Akbar rejects sexual harassment allegations as ‘false’, makes no comment on ‘resignation’

Allegation of sexual misconduct by over half a dozen women journalists who had worked with MJ Akbar when he was an editor sparked a firestorm.

Union Minister MJ Akbar Sunday dismissed as “false and fabricated” and “malicious” the allegations of sexual harassment against him during his journalistic career and said he will be “taking appropriate legal action”. He made no comment on demands for his resignation.

“The allegations of misconduct made against me are false and fabricated, spiced up by innuendo and malice. I could not reply earlier as I was on an official tour abroad.

“Accusation without evidence has become a viral fever among some sections. Whatever be the case, now that I have returned, my lawyers will look into these wild and baseless allegations in order to decide our future course of legal action,” said the minister of state for external affairs in a statement after his return from Africa, reported ANI.

“Why has this storm risen a few months before a general election? Is there an agenda? You be the judge. These false, baseless and wild allegations have caused irreparable damage to my reputation and goodwill,” he added.

“Lies do not have legs, but they do contain poison, which can be whipped into a frenzy. This is deeply distressing. I will be taking appropriate legal action,” Akbar said.

Many female journalists have accused Akbar of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour at various stages of his career in media.

On the various allegations, Akbar said: “If I didn’t do anything, where & what is the story? There’s no story. But a sea of innuendo, speculation and abusive diatribe has been built around something that never happened. Some are total,unsubstantiated hearsay; others confirm, on the record, that I didn’t do anything.”

Source: HT