Trigger Warning: The following article contains details about sexual assault and violence. The details may be traumatic for survivors. Reader discretion is advised.
Singer Alisha Chinai has voiced her support for the women who have accused music composer Anu Malik of sexual harassment. She was quoted by The Asian Age as saying “Every word said and written about Anu Malik is true. I stand by all the women who have finally spoken up. May they find peace and closure in their lives.”
The ‘Made in India’ singer had filed a sexual harassment suit against Malik in the ‘90s, after which she spent several years out of the limelight. A restraining order was passed against him, while he sued Chinai for defamation. The two later appeared as judges on season 3 of reality show Indian Idol.
Malik has been accused by singers Sona Mohapatra and Shweta Pandit, along with two more women who wish to remain anonymous. According to Mid-Day reports, the two survivors opened up to the tabloid about the exploitation by the music composer.
“Survivor one recalled how she had met Anu Mallik in Mehboob Studio in 1990 where he "rubbed his body against me" and offered a meek apology when she recoiled in response.
“My friend and I went to Neha Apartments [Malik's house] in Juhu, upon Anu Malik's request to discuss the fundraiser. He introduced us to his wife and Anmol, who was around eight months old. A few days later, he called me over to his house again for another meeting. Since my friend was not in the city, I went alone. After we had an informal chat in his music room, he moved the conversation to the lounge.
"Once there, he sat next to me on the sofa. I realised I was trapped as his family was not at home. He then lifted my skirt and dropped his pants. I thought of pushing him and rushing out the door, but he was too strong for me. Luckily, the doorbell rang at that moment." - Survivor to Mid-day
“Irritated, he told me to stay put and went to answer the door. In the seconds that he dealt with the delivery boy, I tried to leave. But he caught hold of me in the narrow passage. He apologised stating that he was a 'passionate' guy, and offered to drop me at my residence.”
" He also dissuaded me from telling anyone, saying that no one would believe me as he was Anu Malik and I was a nobody. He also threatened to ‘know people’ if I went to the police station."
She recalled another traumatic incident.
"Having moved to the city only three years ago, I had little idea of Bombay roads. It was around 8.30pm when he drove into a dark, empty maidan. Scared, I asked him where we were.”
" But he simply unzipped his pants and asked me to lick him! I told him no and urged him to let me go, but he pulled me by my hair and stuffed my face in his lap, hurling abuses as he did so."
“Thankfully, a security guard tapped on the window at that moment. As he spoke to the guard, I unlocked my door and ran for my life."
Survivor two also recounted how Malik harassed her when she was a struggling singer. "He asked me if I had a boyfriend. When I said 'no', he said, 'Oh, so you don't even have anyone to hold you, you must be so lonely.' The comment was uncalled for. He then went on to say,
"You should wear a chiffon sari next time you meet me. At this point, I knew it was time to leave. As I got up, he grabbed me and hugged me, all the while running his hands over my body. "
Panic struck me as I realised the recording studio was sound-proof and no one would hear me even if I screamed. I pushed him away and said, 'What do you think you're doing?' The sick pervert immediately broke into his presumably rehearsed line: 'No, I am happy with my wife, I am a sensitive man!' I rushed out and was relieved to be out on the road and safe again. When I told a friend, who is a successful singer's daughter, about the incident, she said, 'Anu Mama strikes again.'”
Danica D’Souza, who worked on the reality show Indian Idol for more than a year after joining in 2010 told Mid Day that ‘higher-ups’ were aware of Malik’s predatory behaviour but chose to shroud it in secrecy.
“This incident occurred in Kolkata. One of our colleagues from the production crew was travelling with a cameraman and Malik in a car to get sound bites. When she returned, she looked traumatised and told us of the unfortunate incident. She said once they had wrapped up their work, Malik touched her thigh in the car, and felt her up. She was startled. The cameraman who was sitting in the front seat wasn’t aware of what was going on behind him...In closed circles, we’d talk about Anu being a tharki. When this colleague reported the incident to seniors in the production house, some of them women, they turned a blind eye. They knew he abused power but nothing came of it. In fact, they told us all to take precaution by not meeting him alone,” she said.
The Quint sent Malik a text seeking his comment on the story. However, the music composer had not responded yet. We also got in touch with channel Sony where he is the judge of their show Indian Idol. The channel responded and said they are still discussing the issue and will come out with a decision soon.
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