#MeToo: Singer Sona Mo­ha­p­a­tra ac­cuses com­poser Anu Ma­lik of sex­ual ha­rass­ment on many oc­ca­sions

Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - City - - FRONT PAGE - Sa­marth Goyal sa­

The #MeToo tide in Bol­ly­wood shows no sign of ebbing. Now, 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 al­leged 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... (Ma­lik) didn’t know we were mar­ried and the mo­ment I went to the re­stroom, he made a lewd com­ment: ‘Kya maal hai Sam­path,’” al­leges 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’d] talk about strange things. I stopped tak­ing his calls; I felt [there was] no need to tol­er­ate this for the hope of singing a song for him. [This] was in 2007-2008. It’s been long and I just re­mem­ber feel­ing un­com­fort­able,” she adds.

Speak­ing to us, Ram Sam­path, also a com­poser, con­curs that Anu Ma­lik used to call his wife at strange hours and con­firms that Ma­lik re­ferred to her as “maal” at the said event in 2006.

On Wed­nes­day, Mo­ha­p­a­tra, af­ter ac­cus­ing singer Kailash Kher, had called Ma­lik a “creep”. Later, in an in­ter­view, Ma­lik de­nied ever hav­ing met her. This was retweeted by Mo­ha­p­a­tra on Wed­nes­day night, where she ac­cused Ma­lik of ha­rass­ing her and an­other singer, Su­man Srid­har. She posted: “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).”

Srid­har has de­nied this, but Mo­ha­p­a­tra still stands by her claim. She speaks of 2011, when Srid­har sang a num­ber, Tonight, for the film Luv Ka The End, which had her hus­band as the mu­sic di­rec­tor. “Anu (Ma­lik) loved her singing and asked for her num­ber. Our stu­dio passed it on, think­ing it would ben­e­fit her ca­reer,” says Mo­ha­p­a­tra, al­leg­ing that af­ter this, “Srid­har started call­ing me with tales of calls, mes­sages and ha­rass­ment from Anu”.

De­spite re­peated re­quests to re­spond to the al­le­ga­tions, till the time of go­ing to the press, Ma­lik firmly main­tained: “No com­ments.”


(Above) Singer Su­man Srid­har, (top right) singer Sona Mo­ha­p­a­tra and (right) mu­sic di­rec­tor Anu Ma­lik

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