Days after facing serious allegations of sexual misconduct by one of his junior female employees, filmmaker Vikas Bahl has filed a defamation case for Rs 10 crore against his former business partners Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane.
In his petition filed before the Bombay High Court, Bahl has also sought a restrain on the two from making any public statements about him either on regular media platforms or their social media pages.
Bahl had recently stepped down as the director of Super 30 starring Hrithik Roshan, who made it clear that he will not work with anyone accused of sexual harassment.
Soon after the allegations against Bahl had come to public light, Filmmakers Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, Madhu Mantena and Vikas Bahl had decided to dissolve their production company Phantom Films. Some of the high profile films made by Phantom films are Kangana Ranaut’s Queen, Vicky Kaushal’s Masaan, Sonakshi Sinha and Ranveer Singh’s Lootera and Shahid Kapoor’s Udta Punjab.
A detailed report by Huffpost, a former junior female employee of Phantom Films had alleged that she was sexually harassed by Bahl in 2015. The woman crew member had said that in October 2015, Bahl insisted on dropping her to her hotel room on the early hours of 5 May. After reaching the room, he allegedly pretended to pass out drunk on the woman’s bed, ‘only to awaken soon after and masturbate on her.’
The report further added that the woman had barely recovered from an accident that had forced her use crutches when she encountered this traumatic experience. The unnamed victim of the sexual attack then reportedly approached Kashyap in October 2015 but no serious action was taken against Bahl as the two continued to work in Phantom Films.
The woman was later forced to quit the company amidst continuous harassment by Bahl. Kashyap has now regretted her decision to not act swiftly then. He told Huffpost, “Whatever happened was wrong. We didn’t handle it well, we failed. I cannot blame anyone but myself,” Kashyap said. He added, “But now we are determined to do better. We believe her completely. She has our undying support. What Bahl has done is horrifying. We are already on our path of course correction and will do everything in our capacity to fix it.”
Clarifying his stand, Kashyap had denied the allegations that he ‘stayed silent on the issue’ and did nothing about it for years. “Can’t explain further to people who don’t understand due process, legalities. Have been resilient through all accusations, keep flinging them my way,” he had said.