Didn't have money for a lawyer: Utsav Chakraborty on keeping silent post #MeToo
Didn't have money for a lawyer: Utsav Chakraborty on keeping silent post #MeToo

In 2018, Utsav Chakraborty, a writer and an actor, who is better-known for working with comedy collective All India Bakchod, was accused by a co-worker of sending sexually explicit messages to her and several other women.

Chakraborty, who was one of the first accused during the #MeToo storm in 2018, spoke to Free Press Journal after a conversation between him and the accused's lawyer went viral.

On Thursday, an audio clip surfaced online and was shared widely on Twitter. To summarize the conversation, the clip goes back and forth where the woman mentions screenshots, that Utsav has reportedly shared to prove his innocence.

The comedian goes on to add how the accuser’s act has cost him dearly, both professionally and personally. The conversation reached a point wherein the woman demands an apology from Utsav, and states that there will be 'dire consequences' if he releases any video that hurts her client's image.

'Only part of the clip'

When asked if he was aware of the clip that went viral, Utsav asserted that it was only a part of the conversation that went up to an hour.

He said, "I have been sending out these recordings to my friends and people in my close circle since December 2018. The whole time no one would believe whatever I said. The genesis of this audio is that I had told someone I trusted that I have collected information on the anonymous allegations that she (the woman) has put up. But this person went ahead and told the other party and three minutes later I get this call that went on for nearly an hour. This clip is only a part of the entire conversation. I’m not sure who has the clippings, and it’s not like I’m not grateful, it’s good.”

'Never met the accuser'

Utsav maintained that he had never even met the accuser who has named and shamed him under the #MeToo movement. "The most incredible part is that to this date I have never met this woman in person. We have talked online thrice, on DMs between 2014 to 2016 and after that a bit," he said.

The clip indicated that Utsav will be threatened with legal action if he releases any material he claims to have. On being asked, why didn't he take matters to court initially, he states, "I didn’t have any means to approach legally since everyone had abandoned me. I didn’t have enough money to afford a lawyer. I had less than Rs 20,000 in my account. My source for payments also stopped responding."

The clip has gone viral on Twitter, and many are calling out the accuser for initiating the conversation and maligning Utsav’s image. About his fellow brethren coming in support, the comedian maintains, "Stand up is a very hypocritical community, everyone is a competitor. It is that sudden ascent to power for most of them. It is a very bitchy one, we love to see the others taken down. But it was about someone getting called out for stealing jokes, and not something like this. This woman however, started doing stand-up on an open mic three days before she called me out."

Utsav concluded saying that he will address this soon in his own way. "I will be putting up a blow by blow assessment of each of the allegation that she and others put forth at that time," he added.

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