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Ira Trivedi calls Chetan Bhagat's 2013 email screenshot fabricated

Writing a column for Outlook magazine, Trivedi had disclosed how close to a decade ago Bhagat had made her uncomfortable. They were both part of a panel discussion at the Jaipur Literature Festival.

Mayur Lookhar

Author Chetan Bhagat is one of the many people who have been called out for sexual harassment in the #MeToo movement.

Bhagat had issued an apology to an anonymous victim who shared details of their WhatsApp conversation through a user called Sheena on Facebook.

Bhagat had apologized for the same to the victim and to his own wife and kids. Thereafter, author Ira Trivedi accused Bhagat of trying to kiss her.

Writing a column for Outlook magazine, Trivedi disclosed how, close to a decade ago, Bhagat had made her uncomfortable. They were both part of a panel discussion at the Jaipur Literature Festival.

"During the panel, Bhagat asked me something to the effect of 'what do you do when men hit on you at book launches?' I replied something along the lines of I tell him that if he buys a hundred books I will kiss him, and if he buys all my books I will marry him. I was 22 and thought I had just been very clever and sassy. I had not, however, given anyone permission or consent," Trivdei wrote.

The writer then alleged that a few weeks later, Bhagat invited her to his room after a meeting over tea and tried to kiss her saying he had bought 100 copies of her book.

"As soon as I entered his room, he tried to plant a kiss on my lips. I asked him what in the world he was trying to do and he told me coyly, without hesitation, that he had bought a hundred copies of my books and donated them to a library in Pune, so a kiss was his prerogative. This was uncalled for and shocking behaviour," Trivedi wrote. "Harmless as it was, the truth was that it did make me uncomfortable. After all, he was and is a married man with a family, and this, in my mind, was inappropriate behaviour."

Bhagat has now posted a tweet wherein he claims that Trivedi had sent him an email some years later, and asked her to refrain from making false claims.

"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," tweeted Bhagat.

As seen in the screenshot, the email was sent on 25 October 2013. The sender ends the conversation with the words, 'Miss u kiss u.'

We contacted Trivedi, who said she would reply shortly on Twitter. A few minutes later, Trivedi posted a tweet suggesting Bhagat was lying.

"The attempts at push-back, bullying and lying won't work. Undermining a victim's credibility is such a pathetic and typical response. I won’t be dragged into and drowned out by Chetan Bhagat's attempts at making this an endless 'he said- she said'," tweeted Trivedi.

We asked Trivedi if she had sent Bhagat the said e-mail, and she replied, "It is all fabricated. As is his sheer disregard of the truth."

Related topics

Sexual harassment