Singer and Composer Anu Malik has stepped down as the judge of a popular reality show -Indian Idol 10. He has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, including singers Sona Mohapatra and Shweta Pandit.
There were reports that Malik has been asked to step down but he in a statement to the Indian Express said, “I, Anu Malik, have decided to take a break from Indian Idol as I am currently unable to focus on my work on the show. The channel has been kind to agree for the same.” He further add that the channel hadn’t asked him to quit: “They have not asked me to step down. I have taken this stand.”
Sony confirmed the news and released a statement saying “Anu Malik is no longer a part of Indian Idol jury. The show will continue as per the schedule.”
Anu Malik is no longer a part of Indian Idol jury panel. The show will continue its planned schedule & we'll invite some of the biggest names in Indian music as guests to join Vishal&Neha to judge extraordinary talent of Indian Idol season 10: Sony Entertainment Television #MeToo pic.twitter.com/uJmEK1cq4X
— ANI (@ANI) October 21, 2018
Singer Sona Mahapatra had called Malik a ”sexual predator”.
Shweta Pandit, who debuted in the Hindi film industry as a playback singer on Mohabbatein, said that Anu Malik told her he would give Pandit a song with Sunidhi and Shaan, if she gave him a kiss.
Had to go back to my worst memory as a teenage girl today to write this and speak up – its now or never. This is my #MeToo and have to warn young girls about #AnuMalik & let you know your #TimesUp @IndiaMeToo
Thank you @sonamohapatra for speaking up about him & supporting this pic.twitter.com/e261pGQyEq
— Shweta Pandit (@ShwetaPandit7) October 17, 2018
Also, Danica D’Souza, who worked on the reality show Indian Idol for more than a year after joining in 2010 told Mid Day that ‘higher-ups’ were aware of Malik’s predatory behaviour but chose to shroud it in secrecy.
“This incident occurred in Kolkata. One of our colleagues from the production crew was travelling with a cameraman and Malik in a car to get sound bites. When she returned, she looked traumatised and told us of the unfortunate incident. She said once they had wrapped up their work, Malik touched her thigh in the car, and felt her up. She was startled. The cameraman who was sitting in the front seat wasn’t aware of what was going on behind him…In closed circles, we’d talk about Anu being a tharki. When this colleague reported the incident to seniors in the production house, some of them women, they turned a blind eye. They knew he abused power but nothing came of it. In fact, they told us all to take precaution by not meeting him alone,” she said.