By Akanksha Gupta Last Updated:
Famous for the anthem, Made in India, Alisha Chinai became a trendsetter and earned herself the tag of India’s ‘Pop Princess’. But after some ugly turns of events, Alisha hibernated for a little while before starting to work again. Alisha is the original #MeToo girl who pressed charges against the music composer-director, Anu Malik in 1990s. Back then, the 90s popular pop singer had filed a sexual harassment suit against Anu and had demanded Rs 26 lakh as compensation from him as the settlement. (Also Read: Raveena Tandon On Workplace Harassment: How Heroes' Wives, Girlfriends Got Her Fired From Films)
Anu Malik’s predatory ways have come under the scanner yet again and singer, Sona Mohapatra and Shweta Pandit have accused him of sexual harassment. On October 17, 2018, Shweta shared on social media, “Had to go back to my worst memory as a teenage girl today to write this and speak up - its now or never. This is my #MeToo and have to warn young girls about #AnuMalik & let you know your #TimesUp @IndiaMeToo Thank you @sonamohapatra for speaking up about him & supporting this.”
Amidst Sona Mohapatra and Shweta Pandit’s sexual harassment allegations against Anu Malik, the validation from Alisha Chinai came, who had dragged him to the court back in the 1990s. Though the matter was settled after a few years and both moved on with their professional commitments, the wave of #MeToo accusations have raked up the old wounds.
Speaking up against Anu to Deccan Chronicle, Alisha lent her support to his victims by saying, “Every word said and written about Anu Malik is true. I stand by all the women who have finally spoken up. May they find peace and closure in their lives.” Further commenting on his behaviour, Alisha said, “Iss haiwaan ne apnon ko bhi nahin baksha (this beast didn’t spare even his own). Shweta Pandit, who disclosed her horrific experience with Malik, is the niece of composer duo Jatin-Lalit. Malik has two daughters and all these years he has been preying on girls his daughters’ age. Many of them were attacked in his house with his wife and daughters present.”
Alisha expressed her anger to producers and filmmakers, who turned blind to Anu’s ugly behaviour and continued to work with him. She stated, “Producers and filmmakers like Sajid Nadiadwala, Sajid Khan, J. P. Dutta, Gulzar and Rakeysh Mehra continued to work repeatedly with Malik, in spite of his reputation. Some of them must have definitely known about his reputation as the entire film industry, including his own nephews, composer Amaal Mallik, and singer Armaan Malik talk about it. Yet they turned a blind eye to his ugly behavior.” (Also Read: Salman Khan's Video Talking About Hitting Aishwarya Rai Is Going Viral Amidst #MeToo Movement)
After filing a sexual harassment suit against Malik, Alisha refused to work with him and demanded Rs 26 lakh as compensation. But in turn, Anu filed a defamation case on her of Rs 2 crore. Post which, she got a restraining order passed against him. Alisha went on to say, “I don’t know whether his sweet wife, Anju is blind to her husband’s predatory ways or she’s just ignoring them. Chances are, she is only pretending not to know.”
In an interview with Mumbai Mirror, Alisha was quoted as saying, “Every case and incident of sexual offence is very different, and only the one who wears the shoe knows where it hurts. When I sued (Anu) Malik, I fought it alone. It was an unprecedented landmark verdict and a restraining order was passed against him. The man has repeatedly begged for my forgiveness. I have chosen to forgive him and moved on.”
Another anonymous woman shared her experience with Anu Malik when she came for an audition in 1990 at Mehboob Studios. He rubbed himself against her and apologised. But things took a darker turn when they had to collaborate for a fund-raiser later. Reminiscing the time when she met him at his house, she recalled, "He sat next to me on the sofa. I realised I was trapped as his family was not at home. He then lifted my skirt and dropped his pants. I thought of pushing him and rushing out the door, but he was too strong for me. Luckily, the doorbell rang at that moment."
Anu threatened her and asked her not to speak about this to anyone. While dropping her back home, his behavior became more aggressive. She stated, "It was around 8.30pm when he drove into a dark, empty maidan. Scared, I asked him where we were. But he simply unzipped his pants and asked me to lick him! I told him no and urged him to let me go, but he pulled me by my hair and stuffed my face in his lap, hurling abuses." But to her luck, a guard approached their car post which she was able to unlock the car and escape.
Another anonymous woman, who accused Anu Malik of sexually harassing her, stated, "Panic struck me as I realised the recording studio was sound-proof and no one would hear me even if I screamed. I pushed him away and said, 'What do you think you're doing?' The sick pervert immediately broke into his presumably rehearsed line: 'No, I am happy with my wife, I am a sensitive man!'" She had met Malik in a studio, where he had asked her to meet him wearing a chiffon saree. According to her, when she tried to leave, Anu tried to hug her. (Also Read: Vikas Bahl's Ex-Wife Lashes Out At Kangana Ranaut For Misusing #Metoo Rage, She Gives An Epic Reply)
Meanwhile, Anu Malik has been asked to step down as the judge of Indian Idol Season 10 and some of the biggest names in Indian music industry will be called as guests to join Vishal and Neha to judge the show.