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sordid details of VikasBahl sex scandal emerged two days back, now his Phantom
ex-partners Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane have taken to social media
and apologised. Vikramaditya revealed that he didn’t know about it in 2015, he
learnt about it in only 2017. He further said that he’s sorry for what happened
to the girl in question. Read their full statements below:
I didn't hear about the incident between Vikas and the girl when it happened in 2015. The first time I heard of it was in March 2017, when Anurag called me and told me 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 it horrified us.
We immediately began to take action. 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.
However, I was informed by Anurag that the girl was unwilling to pursue this matter any further because her boyfriend didn’t want her to make 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. (All of the above is something that Anurag and Shubhra told the writer of the article but it’s not in there.)
Of all the
various remedies offered then to the girl and us, which included suspending him
(Vikas) from the office, stripping him of any signing authority and not
allowing him to produce films — we did all of it.
For those of you accusing me of being complicit, creating a boys club, and protecting Vikas — I was silent in the press because I felt I was trying to make things right in a manner that, at all times, sought to protect the identity of the girl in question, without assigning any doubt whatsoever to her version of what had transpired, and most importantly, on terms that she wanted and expressly agreed to then.
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.
Here’s excerpts from Anurag Kashyap’s statement-
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
to legal advice provided to me then, I was told that we had very limited
options. Now in hindsight and after taking stock of things myself, I can quite
see how I was ill-advised. Since we were told then that there was very little
we could do, we decided to take a strong moral stand whilst also taking steps
in our power as part of the company. We first suspended him (Vikas Bahl). We
barred him from the premises, took away his signing authority. If that wasn’t
enough, I named and shamed him privately amongst whoever asked about it. While
others in the industry were only rumour-mongering, it was me who was
responsible for bringing out Vikas’s name publicly by speaking with Mumbai
Mirror on an anonymous basis and the publication eventually carried a
front-page article about the incident. Nothing about it was under wraps. It’s
been out there for more than a year… It was the victim’s choice not to talk
about it. That had to be respected beyond anything else. We have spoken out now
because she has allowed her story to be spoken out, even if only anonymously…
Since then I have learnt a lot about company laws to know that perhaps I am not fit to run a company. Since then I have learnt that more than 50 per cent of creative people who run companies don’t understand the papers they sign on and elect to blindly place their trust in people that they think have their best interests at heart (like I did too)... This industry is extremely ill-equipped to handle matters such as sexual harassment, copyright, censorship and all the things we put ourselves in dock with. A large part of the reason for this is that there is clearly lack of correct advice and awareness of legal remedies… “None of this takes away from the wrong that has been done and perhaps never will. 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.