Queen director Vikas Bahl allegedly molested a female colleague during a trip to Goa. Read to know what happened with him next.
This has come as a big shocking news to us and certainly unexpected. Bollywood’s well-known director Vikas Bahl, who is known for his super hit film, Queen, has landed into a big trouble. According to reports, the filmmaker has allegedly molested a female colleague during a trip to Goa a few months back. This has resulted to him being ousted from the Phantom production company. Are you shocked? So are we!
A blind item reported by Mumbai Mirror on April 5 about a filmmaker’s expulsion due to his involvement in a molestation case, had left everyone guessing. It then came to notice that one of the Phantom Film’s partners is involved in the same. Vikas Bahl, who himself is one of the shareholders of the company, decided to step out from the position.
The matter was then brought to other Phantom partners Anurag Kashyap, Madhu Mantena, and Vikramaditya Motwane, but soon the news went on to Reliance Entertainment with whom Phantom has a 50:50 partnership.
Soon a meeting was called as per the Vishakha guidelines to hear the victim out. An anonymous stakeholder commented, “We (Reliance Entertainment and Phantom Films) have taken a hard stand, based on what we have heard and investigated.” The filmmaker was formally asked to step down as a shareholder on March 28. “The decision needed to be taken because it was getting too much,“ said the stakeholder. “There are not one, two or three but multiple victims. I was in the middle of a film shoot when I came to know about the first incident and I had to stop my shoot and come to Mumbai…there is (after all) a young girl on whom an intoxicated Vikas forced himself while they were in Goa. He has behaved badly in the past as well but when this specific complaint came, we needed to act on it.“
However, Vikas Bahl denies all these allegations and so does his co-partner Madhu Mantena. Bahl, 45, who is at present in Delhi, spoke to Mumbai Mirror reporter on the phone, and this is what he had to say: “Nothing has happened. I am running the company. There is no complaint to HR and there is no Vishakha committee. I have heard about this particular lady you are speaking about and the Goa incident. She is not my employee. Yes, I am friends with her, we have worked together and there is a production job we have done together…but if she is feeling like this I would like to sit across a table from her and talk to her. I want to ask her if I have crossed a line, whether I have done anything to hurt her and if she feels that way I would like to apologise for it. I have known her for long. For two-and-ahalf years she has never made me feel as if she is uncomfortable (around me). I have worked very hard to be the person I have become.I do feel a little victimised but I don’t know what to do about that.”
On his part, he also said that he has no idea why someone would put all these allegations on him. Vikas Bahl added, “People really like me. I don’t know why anyone would stoop to this level.“ About possible fissures in Phantom, he claimed equal innocence. “Phantom Films is like my family. I gave up a huge job to start this company. My shares in Phantom are equal to the others. We are equal partners and best friends.If you have followed (the US sitcom) FRIENDS, you will know that after the first season of the show Ross had become the most popular guy and the makers of the show hiked his fee three times over. He went and told the producers if you are doing it for me you have to do it for the others too. And that was our learning. We will always be equal partners. It doesn’t matter whose movie does well and whose doesn’t. We will always be equal partners.”
Yet no official statement has been come out from any of the directors of the Phantom films. While the filmmaker has been told to step out of the position, currently Vikas Bahl is in Delhi attending his ailing mother.