I rang the bell, he answered and I entered his room," she said. I got up and said I had to leave.Describing how she met Akbar in the Oberoi Hotel, she said "When I reached the lobby and looked around for Mr Akbar but I could not see him. He then asked me about my music preferences, when I replied he started singing old Hindi songs to me, I felt extremely uncomfortable at all these inappropriate personal questions. I did my Bachelors in Psychology at St Xavier&China curtain velvet39;s college in Mumbai and graduated in 1991. I told her I couldn't tell my parents because they would ask me to refuse the job offer if I got it and I would have to give up my dream of being a journalist."When the lawyer asked her to explain what happened thereafter, Ramani said: "Akbar asked me why I had gone to the US to study journalism."Explaining about her professional life, she said that she started her career with the Asian Age, where she had worked for a period of 10 months, from January to October 1994. I swore that I would never be in a room alone with him ever again," she said.Ramani, who testified as the first witness in the case, was heard by the Court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Samar Vishal. Ramani, who lives with her family in Bengaluru, said that currently she is working writing a weekly column for Mint Lounge, contribute to Vogue Magazine and other news websites. Later she joined news agency Reuters and then became an editor of Cosmopolitan magazine in 1999. He wanted to know if I had a boyfriend, I replied no. He offered me alcohol from the minibar but I refused.
New Delhi: Priya Ramani, a journalist against whom M J Akbar had filed a defamation case for levelling sexual harassment allegations, on Saturday narrated before a local court what she encountered when she met him in his hotel room on an evening for a job interview. She was shocked to hear about Mr Akbar's behaviour.She asserted that she thought that the interview would be at the "coffee shop or lobby of the hotel". I replied that it was my dream to be a journalist, that this job was important to me, especially since it was my first job. I was silent and hesitant, he then asked me to come up," she said.As hearing resumed, she said: "I have been a journalist for 25 years. He asked me to come up to his room. I also went to the United States for Masters in Journalism at Temple University.Akbar, the former Minister of State for External Affairs, had filed a defamation case against the journalist for accusing him of sexual misconduct.""He got up and made a drink for himself. I was acutely aware that I was alone in this room with him. With our limited experience and the enthusiasm of the youth, we reasoned that it was a new newspaper and there would be many employees and the editor, being a busy man, would not have time for a newcomer. He then asked many personal questions."I caught a taxi home and later at night from my landline, I called Nilofer (her friend) and told her what had happened.. As I was leaving, Mr Akbar said his office would follow up about the job," she added. I was hesitant but went up.Ramani was the first woman to accuse Akbar of sexual harassment during the #MeToo campaign. The allegations levelled against him forced him to resign from the Union Cabinet on 17 October 2018. Then I asked the reception to connect me to him.As years passed by, she joined the Indian Express as Associate Editor and National Features and also worked as founding editors of Mint Newspaper for 8 years.
He asked me many questions about my family, I told him that my parents are keen that I have an arranged match." I did not know that I could dictate # the terms of the interview. He wanted to know if I was married, I said no.Stating that the room where the interview was scheduled was "small and enclosed", Ramani said: "The bed was turned down for the night, there was a small two-seater sofa near the bed. I felt ill at ease to be in such an intimate space for a professional interview. It was a big window and I could see it was a sea-facing room, there were 2 chairs and a small table adjacent to the window and we sat there."Then he moved to the small two-seater sofa next to the bed and gave me a gesture to come and sit in the tiny space next to him.Ramani told the court that she explained about the whole incident to Nilofer but not to her parents as she was afraid of losing her career.""We discussed whether I should accept the job if I got it with such a man at the helm of this organisation. I was already feeling unnerved by his inappropriate behaviour. He did not discuss my writing skills, my knowledge of current affairs or any journalism-related question," she said. I think it was Vodka. I knew I had to leave the room immediately."I thought the interview would be at the coffee shop or lobby but I was 23 and not that confident to say "no, I will wait for you in the lobby. Now I was concerned for my physical safety
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