Anu Malik Asked to Step Down from Indian Idol After Multiple Sexual Harassment Allegations?
Sony Television has reportedly asked music composer Anu Malik to step down as judge of Indian Idol 10 in the wake of numerous sexual harassment allegations that have been levelled against him by multiple women.
Ever since the allegations against Malik came to light, the channel had been internally discussing the matter and has now decided to drop the Bollywood music composer as the judge until further investigation, reports Pinkvilla.
Sources close to the development also added that Malik wouldn't be shooting any further episodes.
Last week, singer Shweta Pandit accused Malik of sexually harassing her when she was 15. In a long Twitter post, Pandit recounted her ordeal and called Malik a "pedophile". She also thanked singer Sona Mohapatra for calling him out and urged others who have been exploited by him in the past, to speak up. Mohapatra accused Malik of being a "serial offender" and alleged that he would call her at odd hours.
On Saturday, two more women came forward to accuse the Bollywood music composer of sexual harassment.
In her alleged encounter with Malik, the first woman recalled that the composer "rubbed his body" against her and when she expressed shock at his behavior, he apologized meekly.
Another woman, who is an aspiring singer, alleged that she was approached to participate on Indian Idol 10 as a wild card entry but she refused the offer as Malik, who is one of the judges on the show, had sexually harassed her seven years ago.
Recounting the incident, she said she had met Malik when she was struggling in the industry. She alleged that during their second meeting at Sahara Studios in Goregaon, Malik asked her if she had a boyfriend.
However, Malik dismissed as "ridiculous" the allegations that have been levelled against him by Pandit. He also denied knowing Mohapatra.
A lawyer for the music composer also said that the #MeToo movement, which is having its India moment, is being used for his client's "character assassination".
“The allegations made against my client are emphatically denied as completely false and baseless. My client respects the #MeToo movement but to use this movement to start a character assassination mission is obnoxious,” Malik’s lawyer Zulfiquar Memon said.