Anurag Kashyap on Sunday apologised to the woman who accused Queen director and Kashayp’s partner at Phantom Films Vikas Bahl of sexual harassment. He also said according to legal advice provided to him back then, he had “very limited options” and now believes he was “ill-advised.” Kashyap also claims Bahl was suspended and barred from the premises and that his signing authority was taken from him. The filmmaker also said he privately shamed him.
A former employee at Phantom Films had reiterated her accusations against Bahl in a Huffpost article recently. The woman had said she shared her experiences of sexual harassment with Anurag Kashyap, but nothing was done, and she had to quit.
My statement in light of the recent HuffPost article and breaking up of Phantom . There are two pages.. pic.twitter.com/WCAsaj6uFR
— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) October 7, 2018
Anurag further said he kept silent until now because it was the victim’s choice not to talk about it and had to be respected. “We have spoken out now because she has allowed her story to be spoken out, even if only anonymously. So not only we were legally handicapped in coming out and taking a stand openly, but also, at all times, had to be respectful of her decision.”
He added, “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. She put herself through a personal hell to protect me and I could not because I was unfortunately ill-advised that there was little I could do. That being said, I fully understand that it is no excuse whatsoever and all my actions above I’d hope are demonstrative of every intention on my part to set this right.”
Kashyap also explained why the contract of Phantom Films did not have the necessary clause of misconduct. “I can’t ask that question because I trustingly signed that contract, and yes, I am an idiot to not understand what I am signing.”
The filmmaker also apologised to the victim. He said, “None of this takes away from the wrong that has been done and perhaps never well. I am better aware today to not allow ourselves to be in a similar place ever again. 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.
Vikramaditya Motwane, the former partner of Kashyap, Bahl and Madhu Mantena at Phantom Films, also apologised to the victim in a separate Twitter statement. He said he is truly sorry about what happened. He called Vikas Bahl a sexual offender and said he has preyed on a young woman, abused her trust and ruined her life. “The only thing I can offer now is an apology,” he said. He promised that this will never happen again on his watch.