Vogue magazine would have advised Priya Ramani that putting my name would invite libel: MJ Akbar in Delhi court

MJ Akbar has stated that he resigned from his post of MoS as he would be seeking justice in his personal capacity.

Former MoS, External Affairs MJ Akbar had filed a defamation suit against journalist Priya Ramani after the later accused him of sexual harassment. He had resigned from his post after Ramani and several other women accused him of sexual misconduct. The allegations had caused quite a furore in the media in the wake of the #Metoo movement gathering storm in the country.

Appearing in the court today, Akbar reiterated his stand, stating that Ramani had not mentioned his name in her articleTo the Harvey Weinsteins of the World” because she would have been advised by the Vogue magazine that including his name would invite libel.

Citing anomaly in Priya Ramani’s conduct, while recording his statement in Delhi’s Patiala House court, MJ Akbar asserted that she had earlier absolved him of any misbehaviour in an article written in the Vogue magazine. Akbar stated that Ramani herself had stated that his name was not there because he did not do anything.

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Defending his resignation on the raging #MeToo controversy, MJ Akbar also stated in the court that there was an immediate damage to his reputation because of the obscene nature of the concocted accusations levelled against him and that he voluntarily resigned from the post for seeking justice in his personal capacity.

Akbar stated in court that he had worked for four decades to build a stellar reputation and that has suffered damage because of the “Scurrilous nature of the false and concocted allegations.”

 Ramani was the first woman to name Akbar for sexual misconduct as the #MeToo campaign gathered steam in the country last month. 20 women have pledged to testify sexual misconduct by the veteran editor during his stint in The Telegraph and The Asian Age. The list includes Prerna Singh Bindra, Ghazala Wahab, Shutapa Paul, Anju Bharti, Suparna Sharma, Shuma Raha, Malini Bhupta, Kanika Gahlout, Kadambari M Wade, Majlie de Puy Kamp, and Ruth David.

Many big names have come out in the #MeToo movement in India. Several personalities from media and entertainment industries have been called out for their alleged sexually harassing and predatory behaviour.

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