After a fortnight of Neha Bhasin joining the list of women who have accused music composer, Anu Malik of sexual harassment, and Sona Mohapatra’s thunderous kickback to Sony television for reinstating Malik as part of the jury in children singing reality show, he has finally released a response. Malik in a letter calls the claims of sexual harassment by multiple women “false and unverified allegations” as he goes on to say that he is in a “dark space” and demands justice.

“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,” his note reads that he shared on Twitter.

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“Ever since the false and unverified allegations were levelled against me, it has not only ruined my reputation, but affected me and my family’s mental health; left us traumatised, and tarnished my career. I feel helpless, like I am being cornered and suffocated,” he wrote.

“It’s disgraceful that at this age, at this stage in my life I have to watch the most slanderous words and horrifying incidents being associated with my name,” Malik adds in his letter.

Sony Television channel expelled Malik out of their reality TV show ‘Indian Idol’ last year after the MeToo allegations against him came forward with several women including Sona Mohapatra, Shweta Pandit, Caralise Monteiro, Danica D’Souza etc. called him out for his sexual misconduct at the workplace. However, the show called him back as a judge in its fresh season. As soon as it became clear that Malik has been restored in the show, Mohapatra launched a series of tweets calling out celebrities, including Sachin Tendulkar and Anand Mahindra, who were promoting the show.

In his letter, Malik replicated the arguments that have already been made by others who have been accused in the MeToo movement, and wrote, “Why wasn’t this spoken about before? Why do these allegations resurface only when I am back on television, which is currently my only source of livelihood?” Being a father of two daughters, he said he “can’t imagine committing the acts that I am accused of, let alone do it,” he queried. “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 ended his letter by thanking his supporters for showing faith in him and his family in this “dark phase” in their lives. “I don’t know how much more slander and dirt my family and I can take. The show must go on. But behind this happy face, I’m in pain. I’m in a dark space. And justice is all I want,” he concluded.

Hours later, Mohapatra also responded to Malik’s note and wrote on Twitter, “‘Unverified’ allegations you say? These are multiple testimonies of independent sane women speaking coherently & they have a common thread & story. What about the ‘mental health’ of all these people who have gone through this traumatic experience because of you? Did you care about them over these years? What about the mental health of good India & all the victims & their families when they see you flaunting yourself on TV? Rubbing it in? Your free pass in society?”

“It has been spoken about very clearly. You have no right to be platformed on National TV till you make amends. 1.3 billion people exist in India. Not everyone needs to make crores on TV to survive or be ‘judge’ to young people whose safety they jeopardise.”

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“It has been spoken about very clearly. You have no right to be platformed on National TV till you make amends. 1.3 billion people exist in India. Not everyone needs to make crores on TV to survive or be ‘judge’ to young people whose safety they jeopardise. You aren’t a role model. You could always take a break, go to a sex-rehab or counselling or somewhere to reflect on how to behave better. Ask your kids to do a hard days job & earn a salary. They are adults. I started working at 22. Do whatever it takes. Stay away from the public eye? Show some remorse? Say sorry? If you did, this would not have happened. There you go! You answered your own question,” she adds.

Here’s Mohapatra’s complete response to Malik. Pandit has also supported Mohapatra in her allegations.

Picture credit- India Today

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