Vikas Bahl sends notices to Vikramaditya and Anurag Kashyap, after being accused of sexual harassment

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Queen director Vikas Bahl, who has been accused of sexual harassment by a former emplyee of Phantom Films and Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut, has sent legal notices to filmmakers Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane. In two separate notice to the directors, Vikas claims that this entire sexual harassment case against him has been orchestrated by the two 'as a result of professional jealousy and with the sole intent to defame him, malign his image and destroy his career’.

Phantom Films was founded in 2011 and dissolved in 2018

Vikas has called Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane as the opportunists who are trying to cash in on the MeToo movement raging across the country. He has demanded for an ‘unconditional apology and to withdraw messages from social media’ from Anurag and Vikramaditya in his legal notice sent on Tuesday.

“This makes us wonder whether the alleged incident of sexual assault also has any authenticity, given that the alleged victim was, in fact, working as your own employee,” Bahl’s lawyer said in the notice. Bahl’s lawyers have accused Kashyap of bribing another employee at Phantom Films to level similar allegations against Bahl.

The legal notice sent by Vikas mentions that Anurag and Vikram have defamed him. “You are neither a witness nor the alleged victim, but instead an opportunist seeking to derive benefit based on unsubstantiated information. The alleged incident has not been established in any court of law and that you have exploited the media to propagate your own personal vendetta,” it read.

"There have been ongoing discussions between all four directors at Phantom to part ways amicably owing to creative and professional differences. You have thereafter, falsely and conveniently portrayed to the media that the reason for parting ways is supposedly,” it added.

“If you had reason to believe that there was some credibility in the story of the alleged incident, nothing ever prevented you from filing a complaint/take any action against our client however, you have merely procrastinated the issue and raised it only to meet your ulterior objective and used it to your commercial convenience which unequivocally raises questions on your own credibility and intentions. Sadly, your actions leave room for doubt on whether you ever intended to help the alleged victim. Moreover, not only did you not take any action but you also continued working with our client. If there were such differences between you and our client why did you allow him to start with his project Super 30 under the banner of Phantom Films. It appears that you had no problems in reaping the benefits from the success of this upcoming movie of our client however, had severe misgivings towards our client’s goodwill in the industry,” the notice said.

On the other hand, on Wednesday, Anurag Kashyap decided to step away from his duties as the board member of MAMI in the light of recent events. “I vehemently deny to have stayed silent on the issue & not doing anything 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 wrote in a tweet.

After Tanushree Dutta accused Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her on the sets of Horn OK Please, the #MeToo movement in India is gaining momentum. Since then, many more cases have been brought to light inclduing filmmaker Vikas Behl, comedian Aditi Mittal and Gursimran Khamba.

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