New Delhi, October 12: Embattled Union Minister MJ Akbar faces yet another allegation of sexual harassment, with a US-based CNN reporter now accusing him of "forcing himself" on her when she was an intern at the Asian Age. The accusation comes amidst six former subordinates of Akbar charging him of being a "sexual predator".
In the fresh #MeToo charge against Akbar, CNN scribe Majlie de Puy Kamp said she was interning with the Asian Age in 2007, when Akbar was still the chief editor of the national daily. On her last day of internship, she went to Akbar's office of acknowledge the opportunity he provided. However, she was met with a shocker when Akbar attempted to "forcefully kiss" her. Smriti Irani Reacts to #MeToo Allegations Against MJ Akbar.
"He grabbed me right under my shoulders, on my arms, and pulled me in and kissed me on my mouth and forced his tongue into my mouth, and I just stood there," Puy Kamp told the HuffPost.
Puy Kamp, who was 18-year-old then, was shattered with the manner in which Akbar treated her. She had chosen Asian Age for her first overseas internship as her parents, both of whom were ex-foreign correspondents of a leading media outlet, were contemporaries of Akbar in the early 1990s'. Four Retired Judges Will Hold Public Hearings on #MeToo Allegations.
Following the incident, Kamp said, her parents had exchanged emails with Akbar questioning his actions. To this, he had reportedly apologised, claiming that the incident was based on "misunderstanding".
67-year-old Akbar's journalistic career spans for nearly four decades. In 2014, he had taken a political plunge by joining the Bharatiya Janata Party. After the government came to power, he was appointed as the Minister of State in External Affairs.
Currently in Equatorial Guinea on an official visit, Akbar is expected to return to India on Sunday. Although the government has not officially reacted to the sexual harassment charges levelled against him, reports have claimed that he may be asked to step down.