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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019

Anu Malik says he hasn’t quit Indian Idol: ‘I have taken a 3-week break, will be back after clearing my name’

Anu Malik, accused by multiple women of sexual harassment during India’s MeToo movement, has said that he wasn’t asked to step down from Indian Idol but did so as he wanted to ‘clear his name’.

music Updated: Nov 22, 2019 11:30 IST
Kavita Awaasthi
Kavita Awaasthi
Hindustan Times
Anu Malik was accused of sexual harassment by Sona Mohapatra, Shweta Pandit and Neha Bhasin.
Anu Malik was accused of sexual harassment by Sona Mohapatra, Shweta Pandit and Neha Bhasin.
         

After an incessant outcry against music composer Anu Malik on social media over #MeToo allegations, he announced on Thursday that he has stepped down as the judge of the music reality show, Indian Idol 11.

In 2018, singer Sona Mohapatra and other women had named Anu Malik, accusing him of sexual misconduct. Post that, he was forced to quit Indian Idol 10. As he was reinstated this year as one of the show’s judges, singers Neha Bhasin and Shweta Pandit joined Sona in accusing him of alleged sexual harassment.

A few days ago, Anu wrote a post on Instagram claiming “false and unverified allegations” were leveled against him and that he was “in pain” and “in a dark space.” He said he wanted justice. It was followed by Sona gaining huge support on social media as she demanded his removal from the reality show.

Talking about stepping down, music director Anu Malik says, “I have not quit the show. I have taken a three-week break. I want to clear my name and return to the show. If someone is saying things about me again and again on social media, it gets to you. I wrote an Insta post explaining that I am in a dark space. This Twitter campaign has been going on since a while and I was tired of these false, malicious accusations on social media. The best thing is once you clear your name and go back to business, it is good for everyone.”

Also read: Taapsee Pannu on Anil Kapoor’s son Harsh Varrdhan: ‘If I was in his position, I wouldn’t have got a second film’

Malik reveals that Sony TV never asked him “to step down or quit”. “Sony has been so supportive. Last season, I quit (after the accusations) and this year, they got me back. They wouldn’t have brought me back if I was not in the clear. If they had any doubts about me, they wouldn’t have approached me at all. This time, I told them that people keep saying things about me so this time, I will come back after clearing my name,” he says.

Ask him as to how would he go about clearing his name, and Malik says, “That is up to me. I will figure it out. It is sad that people have forgotten that I have given great music in the last 42 years and now, people are trying to demonise me on Twitter. Definitely, it will affect me and I am in a dark space. I am not here to fight a war with the Twitterati. Log kuch kuch bol rahe hain par bhagwan hai, my name will be cleared. All this has sullied my name, affected my mind and my creativity. It is troublesome. It has been going on and on but now I want to end it by clear my name.”

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