‘Not Intimidated by Threat of Defamation’: Journo Vidya Krishnan

India Today anchor Gaurav Sawant had sent a defamation notice to Vidya Krishnan and The Caravan.

Updated
India
2 min read
TV anchor and journalist Gaurav Sawant.
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A day after India Today’s executive editor Gaurav Sawant sent a defamation notice to journalist Vidya Krishnan following allegations of sexual misconduct, Krishnan has said that she is ‘not the least bit’ intimidated by the threat of defamation and that it was the only route taken by ‘powerful men’ accused of inappropriate behaviour.

“I will fight defamation and I will make sure my truth is heard by all,” the statement reads.

Krishnan also added that she stands by every word of her account as published in The Caravan, and that the reporter had verified her story as well.

A former health editor at The Hindu, Krishnan had accused Gaurav Sawant of molesting her in 2003 during a reporting assignment in Beas, Punjab.

On 14 November, Sawant sent a defamation notice to Krishnan, The Caravan magazine, and Nixita Saxena, who reported the story. He took to Twitter to announce that he will “seek justice” with respect to the allegations made.

Sawant had denied the allegations on 12 November, stating that they were “irresponsible, baseless, and completely false.” He added that he would take legal action as well.

Vidya Krishnan’s Allegations

In an interview with The Caravan, Krishnan spoke about how Gaurav Sawant had allegedly molested her. The latter had allegedly put his hand on her breast while they were travelling in the car.

Later during the trip, the report states, Krishnan received a text message from Sawant asking her to come into his room. She faintly recalls what he’d said about having "nothing naughty" on his mind. Krishnan has alleged that Sawant wanted to get into a bathtub with her.

Despite her negative responses, Sawant had allegedly knocked on Krishnan’s door, and within minutes, had “unzipped” his pants and tried “to force her hand towards his penis”.

“I felt like he was overpowering me, which is why I started screaming,” Krishnan says. “I think there was some sort of decency where he was like, ‘Okay, I can’t rape her’, so he went away at that point.”

Soon after the allegations surfaced, the India Today group in a statement to NDTV said that the organisation was in no position to comment as Sawant was not employed with the group at the time. Nonetheless, Sawant had been asked to provide an explanation.

Krishnan also details that she was emboldened by the Harvey Weinstein incident in 2017 and the outpour it received.

The report comes in the wake of India’s #MeToo movement, which has named noted personalities in Bollywood, Indian media etc. for sexual misconduct.

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