NEW DELHI: Former Union Minister M.J. Akbar on Friday termed allegations of rape by US-based journalist Pallavi Gogoi a "lie" and claimed they had entered into a "consensual relationship".
Akbar in a statement said Gogoi's November 2 article in the Washington Post had detailed "false allegations of rape and violence against me".
"I have had occasion to read this article and it has become necessary, at this point in time, to bring certain facts to light. Somewhere around 1994, Pallavi Gogoi and I entered into consensual relationship that spanned several months.
"This relationship gave rise to talk and would later cause strife in my home life as well. This consensual relationship ended, perhaps not on best note," he said.
"People who worked with me and knew both of us have indicated that they would be happy to bear testimony to what is stated above and at no stage did the behaviour of Pallavi Gogoi give any one of them impression that she was working under duress," he said.
Akbar also said on October 29 the Washington Post forwarded to his lawyers a "series of cryptic and non-specific questions, regarding incidents alleged to have taken place approximately 23 years ago".
"These allegations were false and were consequently denied," he added. In a separate statement, his wife Mallika Akbar also dismissed Gogoi's accusations, made in a Washington Post article Friday, as a "lie".
"Somewhere around 1994, Ms Pallavi Gogoi and I entered into a consensual relationship that spanned several months," Akbar, who recently resigned as the junior foreign minister following a spate of #MeToo allegations, said in a statement.
"This relationship (with Gogoi) gave rise to talk and would later cause significant strife in my home life as well. This consensual relationship ended, perhaps not on the best note," he said. In her statement, Mallika said "more than twenty years ago, Pallavi Gogoi caused unhappiness and discord in our home. I learned of her and my husband's involvement through her late night phone calls and her public display of affection in my presence."
"I don't know Pallavi's reasons for telling this lie but a lie it is," she added.