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What Vikas Bahl has done is horrifying: Anurag Kashyap opens up

There was no official statement from Phantom Films, but it was widely believed that Bahl was asked to step down.

Our Correspondent

The Hindi film industry woke up today to news of the dissolution of Phantom Films with its founding partners — Anurag Kashyap, Madhu Mantena, Vikramaditya Motwane and Vikas Bahl — deciding to go their separate ways.

The company had been witnessing some trouble among the partners. The accusations of sexual harassment against Bahl made last year had led to an unspoken split in the quartet.

Last year, the film industry was shocked when reports emerged of a Phantom employee (name undisclosed) making allegations of sexual assault by a co-founder. Bahl’s name had cropped up, but the filmmaker had denied the allegations.

There was no official statement from Phantom Films, but it was widely believed that Bahl was asked to step down. Bahl got busy making Super 30 with Hrithik Roshan. More than a year after that episode, Bahl's Phantom co-founder, Anurag Kashyap, has stated that what Bahl did was horrifying.

The website HuffingtonPost.com quoted Kashyap in a report as saying: “Whatever happened was wrong. We didn't handle it well, we failed. I cannot blame anyone but myself. 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."

We tried contacting Kashyap for further clarification, but the director did not answer our calls or text messages. Efforts to contact Motwane and Mantena, too, did not yield any response.

Apparently, the victim is said to have quit the company when no action was taken against Bahl. With Phantom Films now disbanded, it remains to be seen if the victim comes forward to speak about the episode.

In an earlier interview, Kashyap had told the Bombay Times supplement of The Times of India newspaper, "Vikas works in the company, he is a partner and nothing against him has been proven. But mutually we have decided that we will work separately, in separate premises. Vikas and I are not on talking terms; everything else is a rumour."

Related topics

Sexual harassment