#MeToo: Vikas Bahl moves High Court with defamation suit against Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane

Mumbai: Filmmaker Vikas Bahl, accused of sexual assault by a former employee of Phantom Films, has filed a defamation suit against Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane, his former partners in the production house. Bahl, the director of Kangana Ranaut-starrer “Queen”, has also sought interim direction from the court seeking to restrain Kashyap and Motwane from making any further statements either to the media or on social media platforms against him. Hearing on Bahl’s plea for interim direction was underway at the Bombay High Court Wednesday evening.

His suit, filed Tuesday, alleged that Kashyap and Motwane made “defamatory, slanderous and baseless allegations” against him due to which he has suffered irreversible damage to the reputation. He labelled his former partners as opportunists, who allegedly orchestrated the whole campaign against him, making him look like the person responsible for the production house’s fall. Phantom Films was established in 2011 by Kashyap, Motwane, Bahl and producer Madhu Mantena.

The company’s productions include “Lootera”, “Hasee Toh Phasee” and the blockbuster “Queen”. Soon after Bahl was named by a former employee of Phantom Films amid the MeToo campaign, Kashyap and Motwane dissolved the production house. The unidentified woman employee alleged that Bahl sexually assaulted her in Goa during a promotional tour for the movie “Bombay Velvet” in 2015. Bahl had earlier this month issued legal notices to Kashyap and Motwane threatening to file civil and criminal defamation cases if they did not withdraw their messages (on social media) and tender an unconditional apology.

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