A week after standup comic Utsav Chakraborty accused Mahima Kukreja, who had put allegations of sexual harassment, of fabricating allegations, Kukreja has released a statement accusing Chakraborty of trying to ‘malign her’ and the women who spoke up. A year after #MeToo movement took India by storm where scores of women had alleged men in media, film and tv industry and corporates of sexual harassment, it seems to have taken a new turn.
In her statement, Mahima has claimed that Utsav’s allegations are ‘baseless’. She has called Chakraborty’s tweets over past few days claiming the women who had accused him of sexual harassment, many of whom anonymously, as a ‘carefully planned and orchestrated PR-led campaign’ to malign her. Referring to Utsav’s tweets and viral audio clips as ‘hateful campaign’, Mahima said that the authenticity of the audio tapes is also disputed. She does, however, acknowledge that the voices in the audio clip are that of Utsav, her sister-lawyer Mansi Kukreja and herself.
Kukreja then gives a background to the incidents which led to the alleged incident of sexual harassment and refers to the exchange of texts between the two of them as banter in response to which Chakraborty allegedly sent her a d*ck pic. She says she has never asked Utsav for his nudes and hence the alleged image was unsolicited tantamounting to sexual harassment.
Since last week, after the audio clips where Kukreja’s sister could be heard threatening legal action against Chakraborty should he put anything screenshots without Mahima’s permission, Chakraborty has taken to Twitter to put out screenshots of his conversation with various women who had alleged him of sexual harassment. In his defence he is claiming the sexting was consensual. In some case he has also claimed neither the sexting nor exchange of nudes as claimed by some women ever took place.
In October 2018, Mahima Kukreja in a series of tweets had accused Utsav Chakraborty, a standup-comedian, of sexually predatory behaviour. Mahima even shared various screenshots she had received from various girls who had come out and accused Utsav of sending unsolicited ‘d*ck pics’, asking for nude images of girls and even justifying them.
Later, in an interview with Zoom TV, Utsav attempted to whitewash his allegedly inappropriate behaviour by highlighting his mental health issues without offering any meaningful apology and then blamed the ‘rightwing’ for his predicament. Utsav had said, “A lot of it has been galvanised by rightwing Twitter accounts. Please check their Twitter accounts, their Twitter headers, whatever, a lot of it.”