Singer-composer Anu Malik, who was accused of sexual harassment by some of the women singers, on Thursday opened up about "false and unverified allegations" that were levelled against him. He says he is in pain and in a dark space, and has demanded 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," he began his note that he shared on Twitter.
Last year, singer Sona Mohapatra along with singers like Shweta Pandit had levelled allegations of sexual harassment against the composer. Soon, a couple of other women had come forward to accuse him of improper conduct, following which Sony TV had announced the composer was stepping down as judge from 2018's season 10 of "Indian Idol".
"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 was reinstated this season. Just a few weeks ago, Sona called out cricketing idol Sachin Tendulkar on social media for praising talented young contestants on "India Idol" season 11. Sona questioned Sachin whether he was aware of the #MeToo allegations against Malik.
Last month, singer Neha Bhasin had accused Malik of predatory behaviour, and called him an "ugly pervert".
Malik raised some questions in his letter.
"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".
"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 thanked his well-wishers who have been with him and family through this "dark phase. 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.