Russell Barrett responds to allegations of sexual misconduct; calls them baseless

Barrett, CCO, BBH India, has said that any further uncorroborated and slanderous posts about him 'will attract legal action' 

metoo

Late Wednesday evening, BBH India CCO Russell Barrett responded to the allegations of sexual misconduct against him. He has called the allegations completely baseless and has said that any further uncorroborated and slanderous posts about him “will attract legal action”. 

Barrett has written an email to Sandhya Menon who had first shared the account of a woman who accused Barrett of sexual misconduct. In the mail Barrett writes: Any further uncorroborated and slanderous posts about me will attract legal action. This is not a threat but an intimation to you of what I will be forced to do to protect my family and myself from wild and baseless accusations like this.

Sharing a copy of that email with exchange4media, Barrett wrote: I would appreciate it if you can take the time to go through this mail and do the right thing in response to a completely baseless accusation made by Sandhya Menon. I also hope you will, with the same diligence, publish the other side of this story.

Full Text of Barrett’s Mail to Sandhya Menon:

Sandhya,

I have been a huge supporter of the MeToo movement from its inception, given my respect for women in general, and more specifically, at the workplace – something I am confident all my colleagues, peers and friends who have worked with me over my 22+ year career will vouch for.

Given this, yesterday’s tweet falsely implicating me in a fictitious and anonymous MeToo complaint shocked and saddened me to say the least. While this is a much required movement for genuinely aggrieved women, I take grave offence to a malicious rant quoting my name, as it not only causes irreparable and irreversible damage to my goodwill and reputation, but also causes pain to my family whom I hold very dear to me.

Sandhya, while freedom of speech is a given right to the Press, is it not also your corollary responsibility to check facts before you mindlessly forward something on social media which can harm another individual, much less a professional who has always strived to ensure that women are given their due respect and rightful position in their careers?

Recently the Indian judiciary has held that ‘Forwarding a message is equal to accepting the message and endorsing the message.’ In light of that, did you pause to ask yourself the following questions (leave alone doing some due diligence on it) before you posted the message. Where did the incident occur? When and under what exact circumstances did it occur? Who are the so called ‘friends’ she spoke to about the incident (which in no way presupposes that it ever happened) at the time? Can they corroborate that she did actually speak to them at the time she claims she did?
If not, then isn’t posting this message amount to irresponsible journalism on your part? What if you were the person whose reputation was so callously smeared? Would you stand by and do nothing if it was you being wrongly accused?

The fact that you have withdrawn your damaging tweet within hours of its first appearance, in no way lessens or reverses the harm inflicted by it. The least you can do is post an apology to help repair the damage you have caused me personally and professionally. Any further uncorroborated and slanderous posts about me will attract legal action. This is not a threat but an intimation to you of what I will be forced to do to protect my family and myself from wild and baseless accusations like this.

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