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Anu Malik quits Indian Idol 10 as sexual harassment allegations pile up

The composer has stepped down as the judge after charges of sexual harassment were made by singers Sona Mohapatra, Shweta Pandit, and New York-based producer, Danica D'Souza.

Our Correspondent

Singer-composer Anu Malik will no longer be a judge on the ongoing season of the reality show, Indian Idol 5 as he has been facing accusations of sexual harassment from multiple sources. ANI, a news agency, quoted an official statement by Sony Entertainment Television, which owns the right to the programme. 

"Anu Malik is no longer a part of Indian Idol jury panel. The show will continue its planned schedule and we'll invite some of the biggest names in Indian music as guests to join Vishal [Dadlani] and Neha [Kakkar] to judge extraordinary talent of Indian Idol Season 10," read the statement. 

Malik had denied the allegations by singers Sona Mohapatra and Shweta Pandit, who had accused him of misbehaviour and harassment. Pandit had called Malik a "sexual predator" and a "paedophile" in her confessional post. 

Malik had earlier denied the allegations calling it 'completely false and baseless'. 

However, on 21 October, Mid-Day, a tabloid, quoted New York based producer Danica D'Souza as the witness of harassment by Malik during the audition rounds of Indian Idol back in 2010. 

The report quoted D'Souza as saying, "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." 

Speaking to The Times of India, a daily, Malik stated that it was his own decision to step down from the show to 'take a break'. The report also quoted Malik: "I, Anu Malik, have decided to take a break from Indian Idol as I am currently unable to focus on my work on the show. The channel has been kind to agree for the same."

Malik is the latest name to step down from his position after allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him. 

Related topics

Sexual harassment