MUMBAI — Music composer Anu Malik, who has been accused of sexual harassment by singers Sona Mohapatra, Neha Bhasin and Shweta Pandit, on Thursday denied the allegations, saying he was “being cornered” for something he did not do and may take legal action to safeguard himself.
Malik, 59, was first accused of misconduct last year during the #MeToo movement and was briefly dropped as a judge of a singing reality show on Sony channel. The allegations resurfaced with his reinstatement on the channel this September.
In a statement posted on his social media accounts, Malik called the allegations “false and unverified” which had affected his “only source of livelihood”.
“It has been over a year that I have been accused of something that I haven’t done. I have been silent all this while as I was waiting for the truth to surface on its own. But I realise that my silence on the matter has been misconstrued as my weakness,” he wrote, adding that it had taken a toll on his and his family’s mental health and left him “traumatised, and tarnished my career”.
The music composer said he wondered why the allegations were resurfacing only when he is back on “television, which is currently my only source of livelihood?”
“Being a father of two daughters, I can’t imagine committing the acts that I am accused of, let alone do it. Fighting a battle on social media is an endless process, at the end of which nobody wins. If this keeps on continuing. I will have no option but to knock on the doors of the courts to safeguard myself,” he added.
Mohapatra was the first to call Malik out last year, claiming that he would call her at odd hours and once referred to her as “maal” in front of her composer husband Ram Sampath.
Singers Neha Bhasin and Shweta Pandit also came forward with their stories of alleged harassment at the hands of Malik when they were young and looking for work.
Pandit said she was 15 when she was called for an audition at the end of which Malik demanded a kiss in exchange for giving her a song. The incident, she said, left her scarred.
Bhasin, who had called out Malik last year and renewed her allegations, said she had met him to present her work in a CD and was hoping for a song break, but his behaviour turned out to be that of an “ugly pervert”.
“I didn’t let myself get into a sticky situation beyond him lying on a sofa in front of me talking about my eyes in a studio. I fled lying my mum’s waiting below. He even msged and called me after that to which I stopped responding,” Bhasin had shared in a tweet.