Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap who is a member of Phantom Films revealed about the dissolution of the company yesterday on Twitter. The main reason being that one of the partners, Vikas Bahl, sexually harassed a crew member in Goa in 2015. The woman recounted the horrific incident in an explosive feature on HuffPost. While Vikas has not uttered a single word on the allegations against him, Anurag shared a statement on Twitter where he apologises to the girl and also mentioned that he will never entertain any such acts on his work premises.
Anurag started off by talking about how he did everything he could within whatever was told by his partner and that he believed his partner for any legal and financial decisions. He went on to say that according to a legal advice provided to him then, he was said that there is not much they could do. He now agrees that he was ill-advised then.
Anurag further mentioned that they then decided to take a stand and not allow Bahl in the office premises. Anurag even said that he had named and shamed Bahl privately.
The Bombay Velvet director, revealed how the victim lost all her trust from him because she somehow knew that Anurag was dependent on others for legal advices. Anurag said this might have been one of the reasons for the victim to back out and not sign the documents where she was asked on how the accused should be dealt with.
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Anurag said that it was because of the lack of trust that they were severely hamstrung in their ability to take any further action. He went on to say that he and his partners were told that there was no provision in their contract to sack him on the grounds of misconduct since Bahl also ran the company along with the other three.
The Gangs of Wasseypur director revealed that it was the victims choice to not talk about it and that he respected it. “What makes it worse personally for me is that the victim did not share the incident with me for a long time because she saw me dealing with my depression,” said Anurag.
Anurag agrees that he was ignorant then and he is better aware today. “None of this takes away from the wrong that has been done and perhaps never will. I am better aware today to not allow ourselves to be in a similar place ever again,” Anurag added.
He ended the statement by apologising and stated, “I am deeply, truly sorry to the woman in question and she has known this all this while. This will never happen again on my work premises ever again”.
On a related note, Phantom films included four members, Vikas Bahl, Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane and producer Madhu Mantena.
The allegation was made against Bahl by one of the Phantom Films crew members. The woman opened up about the incident to HuffPost and talked about how Bahl had masturbated on her back after a party in Goa, prior to the release of the film Bombay Velvet (2015).