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On Saturday, Anurag Kashyap took to Twitter to announce that he and his partners have decided to dissolve Phantom Films. Soon after, an interview of a former Phantom employee who had earlier levelled sexual harassment allegations against Vikas Bahl went viral on the internet. Anurag Kashyap shared a two-page explanation on Twitter after this article on Saturday detailing the victim's account of assault and Anurag's statement that "we didn't handle it well and I cannot blame anybody but myself".
After Kashyap's statement, Vikramaditya Motwane too has finally broken his silence over Vikas Bahl's sexual harassment row. He extended an aplogy and issued a statement on Twitter which read-
'It Was Hard To Hear & It Horrified Us'
"I didn't hear about the incident between Vikas and the girl when it happened in 2015. The 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."
'Anurag & Shubhra Tried Very Hard To Convince Her Not To Back Away'
"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 now unwilling to pursue this matter any further because her boyfriend didn't want her to make her name public. Anurag and Shubhra 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."
On Why He Was Silent In The Press
"Of all the various remedies offered then to the girl and us, which included suspending him from the office, stripping him of any signing authority and not allowing him to produce films- we did all of that.
"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."
'Vikas Has Preyed On A Young Woman'
"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," he concluded the statement.