Tehelka founder Tarun Tejpal told Shoma Chaudhury, the then managing editor of the magazine, that he had “misread the situation”, according to the latter’s statement included in the chargesheet filed by the Goa Police on Monday.
According to the chargesheet, Chaudhury said the victim told her that Tejpal had behaved like a “classic male” and “thought that beneath her ‘no’ was a ‘yes’”, because her refusals had been “very polite”.
The chargesheet says Tejpal told Chaudhury that both he and the victim had consumed “several drinks” on November 7. It also points out that the victim, in her statement, said that while they had consumed a few drinks on the first occasion, they had not had any drinks on the second occasion. According to her statement, she asked Tejpal to stop on both the occasions, but he did not listen to her.
In her statement, Chaudhury said she had “no personal knowledge of any complaint from any of her colleagues in Goa” until the victim sent her an email on November 18. She said “she was absolutely devastated”, and had immediately called up the victim. Chaudhury, according to the chargesheet, then called up Tejpal and confronted him about the complaint.
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The chargesheet says Tejpal met Chaudhury in the magazine’s Delhi office on the evening of November 18, and told her that he was ashamed of his lapse of judgment. “Mr Tejpal told Shoma that on 7th November 2013 evening, when the said encounter happened, both he and the victim had had several drinks; that in this context, according to his account to Shoma, he said his sexual encounter with the victim on 7th November 2013 was consensual and very fleeting,” says the chargesheet.
Chaudhury, in her statement, said she sent an email to the victim on November 18, stating that she had spoken to Tejpal and he felt that he had “misread the situation and was willing to apologise”. The chargesheet says the victim told Chaudhury that “she had made it clear to Tejpal that she was not comfortable with what he had been doing to her. The victim repeated that she wanted ‘closure’ to the ‘nightmarish psychological and emotional fallout of this incident’.”
According to Chaudhury’s statement, Tejpal emailed a formal apology to the victim on November 19, with a copy sent to her. At the same time, he reportedly sent another email to the victim stating that the encounter had been consensual. Chaudhury said the victim sent that email to her.