Music composer Anu Malik has landed in boiling water after singer Shweta Pandit accused him of seeking sexual favours in exchange of work. The singer was only 15years old then when the incident took place back in 2001.
Calling Anu Malik a paedophile and sexual predator, Pandit, in her Twitter post, said, "I remember I sang the title song of Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega as a voice test for this man (Anu Malik). I sang it well so he said, "I'll give you this song with Sunidhi and Shaan but first give me a kiss now" He then smiled, what id recall the most evil grin I've seen. I went numb and pale in the face. I was only 15years old then, still in school."
Pandit's ordeal soon went viral on social media with people demanding Sony TV Channel to drop Malik from the judges' panel of their singing reality show Indian Idol 10.
While the entertainment industry has adopted a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment, the makers of the show, Endemol and Sony Entertainment, are yet to decide on sacking Malik from the show. The music composer has been a part of Indian Idol show ever since its inception in 2004.
"They have taken note of the developments, but no decision has been taken yet. It is a wait-and-watch situation as Anu Malik is synonymous with the show. Though netizens have been tagging Sony TV in their online demand to oust him, the channel officials are keeping mum for now," a source close to the channel was quoted as saying by Mid-Day.
The channel too have refrained themselves from commenting on the matter. However, Malik, on his part, has denied allegations of sexual harassment levelled by singers Sona Mohaptra and Shweta Pandit through his lawyer Zulfiquar Memon.
"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.
Meanwhile, lyricist Sameer Anjaan has jumped in defense of 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.
While Nana Patekar, Sajid Khan, Kwan Entertainment founder Anirban Das Blah, who have been accused of sexual abuse in the ongoing MeToo movement, have been asked to step down from their ongoing projects, it remains to be seen whether Anu Malik too will suffer the same fate from the makers of Indian Idol.
Let's wait and watch.