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#MeToo in Bollywood: Composer Anu Malik referred to me as ‘maal’, alleges singer Sona Mohapatra

After calling Bollywood music director Anu Malik a ‘creep’ in an Instagram post, singer Sona Mohapatra has now given a detailed account of various incidents, where she has accused Malik of harassing her.

music Updated: Oct 11, 2018 17:53 IST
Samarth Goyal
Samarth Goyal
Hindustan Times
MeToo,Bollywood,Sona Mohapatra
Singer Sona Mohapatra had earlier accused singer Kailash Kher of sexual harassment. (AFP)

Singer Sona Mohapatra, in an interview with us, has revealed that she faced harassment at the hands of music composer Anu Malik. On Wednesday night, she had called out Malik publicly (on Instagram), for harassing her. Now the 42-year-old singer has given out details of various incidents, which include Malik repeatedly calling her at unearthly hours and calling her “maal” in front of her husband Ram Sampath.

“The first time I met Anu Malik was in October 2006 for the rehearsals of MTV Lycra Style Awards. He invited both Ram and me for lunch at the ITC Grand Maratha, since he had worked with Ram as a youngster. (Malik) didn’t know we were married and the moment I went to the rest room, he made a lewd comment — ‘Kya Maal hai Sampath’,” alleges Mohapatra.

Anu Malik wasn’t available for comment on the allegations levelled by Sona Mohapatra.

“Subsequently, Anu (Malik) used to call up randomly, at strange hours, leave missed calls or once in a while, if I picked up, [he would] awkwardly talk incessantly about strange things. I stopped taking his calls because I felt [there was] no need to tolerate this for the hope of singing a song for him. [It] was in 2007 - 2008. It’s been really long and I just remember feeling awkward and uncomfortable,” she adds.

When contacted, Ram Sampath, who is also a music composer, concurred that Anu Malik used to call his wife at uncordial hours and confirmed he referred to her as “maal” at the said event in 2006.

Read|Sona Mohapatra lashes out at Kailash Kher, narrates her own Me Too story

On Wednesday Mohapatra, after accusing singer Kailash Kher, had called Malik a “creep”. Later, in an interview, Malik refused to have ever met her. This was retweeted by Mohapatra on Wednesday night, where she accused Malik of harassing her, and another singer, Suman Shridhar. “Really Anu’ji? Never met me? Called me at strange hours? What about Suman Sridhar? Didn’t harass her endlessly? She had to leave the country,” (sic) she wrote.

Singer Suman Sridhar has denied getting harassed by Anu Malik.

However, Sridhar categorically denied Mohapatra’s allegations of being harassed by Malik. “The tweets are manufactured content and completely fabricated. There is no truth to these allegations made by Sona,” Sridhar’s manager, Siddharth told us over phone.

Read| Abhijeet Bhattacharya denies sexual harassment allegation, says ‘fat, ugly women’ blaming men

But Mohapatra still stands by her statements and argues that Sridhar was [indeed] harassed by Malik. “In 2011, Ram was a music director on a Yash Raj film, Luv Ka The End. A very talented singer, Suman Sridhar, sang a song titled Tonight. Anu (Malik) loved her singing and asked for her number. Our studio passed it on thinking it would benefit her career. Sridhar started calling me with tales of persistent calls, messages and harassment from Anu at strange hours. She is a girl close to his [Malik] daughter’s age, not that age has ever mattered. I did my best to advise her, but beyond a point, I didn’t know what to do, so I told her just to avoid him,” recalls Mohapatra.

“I remember Sridhar telling me that she was worried about her security because she used to get calls from unknown numbers from him and did not know which ones to avoid,” she adds.

When asked if she plans to file a legal complaint about the same, Mohapatra informs, “No. I would have to file too many, if this is a trigger to file a complaint.”

When contacted, Malik refused to comment, and said, “No comments.”

This story will be updated with further developments.

Interact with the author on Twitter/@sammysamarth

First Published: Oct 11, 2018 14:18 IST