Singer Shweta Pandit Makes #MeToo Allegations Against Anu Malik Calling Him A Paedophile

October has been an emotional month for  India. Years of suppressed frustration and rage were finally let out by survivors of sexual harassment. Numerous men in powerful positions across industries were called out for their misconducts. While some of them accepted their crimes and apologised for it, others vehemently denied the allegations against them and are even gearing up for a legal battle with the women who came forward.

Adding to the names of famous men who have been accused of being sexual predators, singer Shweta Pandit has come forward with her #MeToo story.

Joining the #MeToo wave on Twitter, she has accused music composer Anu Malik of having made sexual advances towards her when she was just 15.

Thanking singer Sona Mohapatra for first coming out with the harassment she has faced from Malik, Shweta wrote:

“Had to go back to my worst memory as a teenage girl today to write this and speak up – it’s now or never.

this is my #metoo and i have to warn young girls about anu malik and let you know your #timesup.”

She attached a detailed statement with the tweet describing the sexual harassment she claims she faced from the music composer. It reads:

It has taken a lot in me to open up this wound again and speak up against this paedophile and sexual predator. It was the year 2000 when I was launched as a lead singer with ‘Mohabbatein‘ (was the youngest singer back then in the Indian music industry) and was trying to get other good songs to follow up with the success of that soundtrack and the outstanding welcome it gave me in the music industry. I got a call from Anu Malik’s then manager (Mustafa) to come to Empire Studio in Andheri sometime in mid-2001. I was thrilled like any singer would be. I used to admire his music and practice his songs for hours and look up to him back then! He was recording a group song with Sunidhi and Shaan for the film ‘Awara Pagal Deewana‘ when my mother and I walked in the monitor room. He told me to wait in the small cabin inside where singers sang at Empire studio. It was just him and me there.

Shweta continues with her account of the event describing how things had taken a horrifying turn inside the cabin:

He asked me to sing something without any music as he wanted to hear my voice. I remember I sang the title song of ‘Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega‘ as a voice test for this man. I sang it well so he said, “I’ll give you this song with Sunidhi and Shaan but first give me a kiss now.” He then smiled, what I’d recall as the most evil grin I’ve seen. I went numb and pale in the face. I was only 15 years old then, still in school. Can anyone even imagine what it felt like at that moment? It felt like someone had just stabbed me in my stomach. I referred to this man as ‘Anu uncle‘, he knew my entire family for decades and knew us as a respected gharana of musicians for generations who have given our entire lives dedicated to music for 4 generations.

He addressed my father as ‘Mandheer bhai’. And he does this to his bhai’s daughter? He has 2 young daughters of his own and that’s how he treated a 15-year-old minor girl.

She goes on to describe how this incident had affected her mentally as a young girl:

It was the worst experience of my life and I could never speak about it even to my parents. I could never ask any help to heal but was depressed for months. I cried endlessly after this incident and it affected my psyche as a young girl, so much that I could have left the industry but I re-thought and fought with my will-power that why should I leave my greatest passion for a paedophile like him but I still kept struggling for years to bury this inside me. I am sure many singers have been exploited by him as he is a known name for doing this to singers. I’d urge those singers/women to share their stories too.”

Here’s the tweet in which she has detailed it all:

Sona Mohapatra reached out in support to Shweta following her tweet:

She followed it up with a response to those who had scoffed at her allegations against Anu Malik:

Each day more and more names of so-called idols come out with allegations of sexual harassment. It raises the question, if these are proven to be true, is it the fame and power that let men believe they can get away with treating women as just objects of their sexual fantasies or is it a quality deeply ingrained in the entire gender by our society?