Mahima Kukreja responds to Utsav Chakraborty’s allegations, calls it ‘sick fantasy of revenge’
Writer Mahima Kukreja has reacted to comedian Utsav Chakraborty’s recent Twitter thread, in which he has attempted to clear his name of allegations of sexual misconduct, levelled against him by Kukreja and other women.
Kukreja, in a statement to Firstpost, said, “What Utsav is doing right now is character assassination to all the women who told their truth.” The comedian has initiated a thread on Twitter, sharing screenshots of conversations with several women who have accused him of sexual harassment, suggesting that the exchange of private pictures was consensual.
“Why did Utsav keep multiple screenshots of private conversations from years ago with multiple women from Snapchat and other apps, an act which is a violation of privacy in itself, unless he believed he might be called out for predatory behaviour in future and could use some of them out-of-context to serve his narrative?” Kukreja asked in her statement.
She also said that along with her lawyer sister, they’d told Chakraborty to stop sharing screenshots of private conversations. In her statement, she provided background information on several instances where the alleged misconduct took place. “Even after publicly and privately admitting to his predatory behaviour, Utsav is making baseless allegations after more than a year. A carefully planned and orchestrated PR-led campaign has been led to malign me, the women who spoke up, and the #MeToo movement itself,” she said.
Mahima was the first person to make allegations against Chakraborty, a former collaborator at the now defunct comedy collective AIB. Another former AIB employee had also accused him of workplace harassment. Following the media spotlight into the matter, particularly into co-founder Tanmay Bhat’s awareness of the allegations and his subsequent response to them, AIB announced that it was shutting down.
Chakraborty in his tweet thread has shared screenshots of conversations with the women who was employed with AIB, as well as a video recording of an Instagram live session she conducted in which she spoke about the allegations. “A lot of people ACTIVELY and QUANTIFIABLY benefited from my public flogging last year,” Chakraborty wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “No one gains anything from fake accusations... except fame, acceptance in exclusive cliques, fulfilment of a vendetta, Schadenfreude and if nothing, a great ice breaker for social events.”
Kukreja in her statement responded, “I have not made a single rupee out of the #MeToo movement. Utsav and other parties and individuals have come together to malign me and the #MeToo movement so powerful men can keep getting away with sexual harassment and abuse in some sick fantasy of revenge. I did not make any money. It is disgusting to say that a victim of sexual harassment is telling the truth to earn money. It has been an extremely challenging and debilitating experience in recounting what I have gone through and expressing it as above.”
As to why he has been making the claims on Twitter, Chakraborty told Firstpost, “Some sense of restorative justice. I just want to go back to my old life. I just want to be able to step out, to be able to work. To have my right to a livelihood back. I want all the awful publications who did not do any research, the next time someone asks you, ‘Please investigate me,’ then do that.”
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