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MJ Akbar grabbed me and shoved his 55-yr-old tongue down my 18-yr-old throat: CNN journalist


New Delhi, Oct 13: Amid serious allegations of sexual harassment that have been levelled against MJ Akbar, One more journalist has accused the union minister of sexually harassing her while she was an intern at The Asian Age newspaper in 2007. The woman was 18 at the time of the alleged incident.

CNN scribe Majlie de Puy Kamp took to the Twitter to share her #MeToo story when she was interning under MJ Akbar when he was Editor of The Asian Age newspaper.

MJ Akbar

The incident happened on the last day of her internship when she went to Akbar to thank him for the opportunity.

She said that as she extended her hand for gratitude Akbar "grabbed her right under [her] shoulders, on [her] arms. [He] pulled me in and kissed me on my mouth and forced his tongue into my mouth, and I just stood there, she said.

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Sharing the incident on Twitter as well, Kamp wrote: "I extended my hand to him in gratitude, he shoved his 55-year-old tongue down my 18-year-old throat."

"What he did was disgusting, he violated my boundaries, betrayed my trust and that of my parents," Kamp told HuffPost India in an e-mail. She had met Akbar through her parents who were foreign correspondents in India in the 1990s.

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At least eight journalists have accused Akbar of sexually harassing them when he was a newspaper editor. Akbar, who is travelling outside India, so far has not commented on the allegations.

Akbar, a senior journalist, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of 2014 general elections and was elected to the Rajya Sabha a year later. He was made the Minister of State for External Affairs in 2016.

In October last year, when the #MeToo campaign peaked in Hollywood, journalist Priya Ramani had written an article for Vogue India, titled, "To the Harvey Weinstein of the world" and narrated her ordeal about the gut-wrenching incident of sexual misconduct she faced during a job interview with a renowned journalist who had "transformed Indian journalism".

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Ramani, recently on Twitter, claimed that the journalist she was referring to was MJ Akbar.

Another journalist, Shutapa Paul, recalling a 2011 incident, tweeted on Wednesday, "As I tried to dash out the door, #MJAkbar gave me a hard hug, I ducked whatever else could have followed and fled. He seemed amused at my ducking."

Paul added that later, when he went to Kolkata, he wanted to meet her late night at his hotel room but she excused out. "The next morning, I woke up to cryptic text messages from #MJAkbar. Paraphrasing them: 'You should know what's important to you. Your career or other things'," claimed Paul.

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah has said that the party will have to verify the authenticity of the allegations against Akbar.

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