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#MeToo: Chetan Bhagat hits back at Ira Trivedi, makes email public

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#MeToo list not only includes Bollywood bigwigs but also have some comedians, journalists and authors. Recently, allegations have also been put against Chetan Bhagat, a known author and columnist, of sending explicit messages to women and of improper conduct towards them.

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It’s been only ten days when Chetan Bhagat’s name was added in the #MeToo list, another author and columnist Ira Trivedi has accused him of sexual assault. According to Ira, Chetan Bhagat once tried to kiss her without consent and also continued his sexually motivated behavior towards her for a long time.

In her latest column written for the Outlook magazine, Ira Trivedi has explained the incidents in detail.

In her column, Ira writes, “I met Chetan Bhagat close to a decade ago at the Jaipur Literature Festival. He was moderating a panel ‘Teen Deviya/ Three Goddesses’ that I was a part of. Back then, Chetan was the star of the literary world and I felt both nervous and gleeful to be sharing the stage with him. During the panel, he asked me something to the effect ‘what do you do when men hit on you at book launches?’”

Ira further explained, “He invited me to tea at the India International Centre, in my mind a perfectly innocuous place for two authors to meet. He asked me to come to his room but I suggested we meet in the tea-room instead. After our tea, he asked me to come up to his room on the pretext of giving me a signed copy of his book. As soon as I entered his room, he made a pass at me: I ducked as he tried to plant a kiss on my lips and then I laughed, because I didn’t know what else to do, or how to respond.”

She also mentioned, “I asked him what in the world he was trying to do and he told me coyly, without hesitation and almost with an air of entitlement, that he had bought a hundred copies of my books and donated them to a library in Pune, so a kiss was his prerogative. I ignored his comment and pretended to be amused though in reality I was shaken. This was a married man with children, whose family I had hung out with at the literature festival. This was uncalled for and shocking behaviour.”

However, after Ira accused Chetan Bhagat of sexual harassment, he came up in his own defence. Chetan Bhagat took to a twitter revealing an email sent to him by Ira.

“So who wanted to kiss whom? @iratrivedi’s self-explanatory email from 2013 to me, esp last line, easily shows her claims from 2010 are false, and she knows this too. This mental harassment of me and my family has to stop. Please don’t harm a movement with #fakecharges #harassed,” Chetan Bhagat tweeted along with the screenshot of Ira’s mail.

In a series of tweet, Chetan Bhagat also clarified his stand on the issue.

Notably, days after Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta alleged Nana Patekar of sexual harassment, the Pandora box has opened for #MeToo. Several bigwigs of Bollywood including Subhash Ghai, Sajid Khan, Alok Nath, Kailash Kher, Rajat Kapoor have been accused of sexual harassment so far.

Also Read: Author Chetan Bhagat admits to sending explicit messages; asks for forgiveness

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