Vikramaditya Motwane has opened up about the Vikas Bahl sexual harassment allegations by former Phantom Films woman employee in a note he posted on Twitter. Phantom Films, the production company owned by Motwane, Anurag Kashyap, Madhu Mantena, and Bahl, had dissolved recently. The woman employee had reiterated the allegations against Bahl in a Huffpost article.
Motwane claims he did not know about the incident until 2017, when Anurag told him about it. “Madhu, me and Anurag sat with the girl and she told us the whole story, in the same detail as in the article. It was hard to hear and horrified us,” he said.
He also said they began to take immediate action after he was told about it. “We offered suspending Vikas from the company for a long period of time, not letting him produce or direct, taking away his signatory rights as well as sending him to rehabilitation. She agreed. So did Vikas, who had no memory of the incident. We also worked towards formalising this and even taking steps towards documenting these terms,” he said.
Motwane further says the girl did not want to pursue the matter further as her boyfriend did not want her name public. “Anurag and Shubhra [Shetty] tried very hard to convince her not to back away but the boyfriend was firm. He said that ‘they will find their own method to make Vikas pay’.”
Motwane ended the note by apologising to the victim. He said, “I’m truly sorry about what happened to the girl. Vikas Bahl is a sexual offender. He’s preyed on a young woman, abused her trust, ruined her life. The scars are going to stay and that just isn’t right. The only thing I can offer now is an apology. And the only thing I can say is that this will never happen again on my watch.