Anu Malik has temporarily stepped down as the judge of the singing reality TV show Indian Idol 10 following multliple sexual harassment allegations against him amid the ongoing #MeToo storm.
"I, Anu Malik, have decided to take a break from Indian Idol as I am currently unable to focus on my work, my music and the show," Anu Malik said in a statement to Pinkvilla.
Earlier, it was being said that considering the mounting pressure on the makers of Indian Idol, Sony TV had reportedly asked Malik to quit the show till further investigation in an internal meeting.
The meeting had taken place after two more survivors spoke about Malik's sexual misconduct. Earlier, singer Sona Mohapatra and Shweta Pandit had called out Malik and accused him of sexual abuse.
"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 said in a statement.
Lyricist Sameer Anjaan defended Anu Malik post Shweta Pandit's sexual harassment allegations. He said he was present in the studio when the incident took place and has refuted Pandit's allegations on Twitter.
A former Indian Idol crew member Danica D'Souza had also accused Malik's sexual advances and claimed that the higher authorities were aware of his abuse of power.
Malik, on the other hand, has denied all the allegations against him and called it rubbish and baseless.
"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 told IANS.