Mumbai: Vikas Bahl has sent legal notices to his former Phanton Films partners Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane, accusing them of defaming him, amid the sexual harassment allegations against the director.
Last year, a woman employee at Phantom Films, which had Bahl as one of the partners alongside Kashyap, Motwane and Madhu Mantena, had alleged that Bahl behaved inappropriately with her during a trip to Goa in 2015.
Before the victim’s account went public in a recent HuffPost article, Kashyap and Motwane put out statements and announced that their production house Phantom Films stands dissolved.
The notice, issued through Advocate Shamsher Garud of Jayakar and Partners, says the public comment made by Kashyap and Motwane were “opportunists” and out of “professional jealousy” with the intent to defame, malign and destroy Bahl’s career.
Bahl has “vehemently” denied all allegations against him.
“It is by design that after having remained silent about the alleged incident and alleged victim for three years, you have now come forward and supported the alleged victim. It is imperative to highlight that the alleged victim herself has mentioned that your sudden moral enlightenment is nothing but a hoax and there is a personal agenda behind it,” the notice read.
In the notices, Bahl has asked for an “unconditional apology” and to withdraw “contradictory” statements made by Kashyap and Motwane on social media.
Bahl also accused the duo of using the allegations as an opportunity to dissolve Phantom Film and shift the blame to him.
The Queen director said they were anyway discussing the dissolution of Phantom Films for the past few months because of creative and professional differences.
“There have been ongoing discussions between all four directors at Phantom to part ways amicably owing to creative and professional differences. You have falsely portrayed to the media that the reason for parting ways is supposedly the alleged incident of May 2015 which is, in fact, false and has been done in bad taste and contradictory to your tweet dated 6 October 2018 where you have stated that the dissolution happened amicably,” it read.
Bahl’s lawyers have also accused the Kashyap of bribing another employee at Phantom Films to come up with similar allegations against Bahl.
“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, the notice said.
The legal notice also mentions that Motwane is said to have initially believed there was no sexual harassment and showed his conversation with the alleged victim to Bahl.
“This was to show that no sexual harassment incident had taken place. Yet, Motwane, after the victim outed him went ahead and issued statements against Bahl,” the notice reads.