#MeToo: Vikas Bahl cleared of sexual harassment charges, back as director of Hrithik's next film

The filmmaker was accused of sexual harassment by a former employee of Phantom Films.

Vikas Bahl get clean chit in sexual harassment case
The internal complaints committee of Reliance Entertainment has given a clean chit to filmmaker Vikas Bahl, who was accused of sexual harassment by an employee of erstwhile production company, Phantom Films.

Times Now reports that Reliance Entertainment which holds 50 per cent stake in Phantom Films has cleared the director of all charges, and he has been reinstated as the director of Hrithik Roshan's next project titled 'Super 30'.

The two other directors in Phantom Films, Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap had also given out statements against the 'Queen' director then.



The complainant had come out against Bahl in the wake of the #MeToo movement in an article in October 2018. She had alleged that Bahl had sexually assaulted her in 2015, and Anurag Kashyap, a partner of the production house, had ignored her complaint in October 2015.

The woman resigned from Phantom Films in January 2017.

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The 'Queen' director filed a Rs 10-crore defamation suit against Kashyap and Motwane in 2018. The three were partners at Phantom Films. Bahl had sent a legal notice to both of them, accusing them of orchestrating a campaign against him by using the harassment allegation as an opportunity to disband Phantom Films and pin the blame on him.

The notices came after Kashyap and Motwane issued statements on social media condemning Bahl in the wake of the allegations.




Kangana Ranaut who had worked with Bahl on their hit film, 'Queen' had also accused him of making her uncomfortable on several occasions.
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After getting a clean chit, the director has not only been reinstated on Roshan's film, but will now have his name on the credits too.


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This comes as a relief to the National Award Winning director who had faced a lot of wrath post the sexual misconduct claims.

2018: The Year When #MeToo Shook India
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2018 saw the rise of the #MeToo movement in India. Inspired by a global campaign against sexual harassment and assault, women across the spectrum opened up and shared their stories about abuse by men in positions of power. And it began in October with actress Tanushree Dutta accusing actor Nana Patekar of sexual harassment while shooting for the 2008 film 'Horn Ok Please'.

What followed was a series of posts by other women who shared their experiences with the world. From actors, film directors to advertising top guns, artists and writers and politicians, women professionals called out obnoxious behaviour at the workplace. From unwanted attention in the office to sexual innuendos on the film set, there were many kinds of allegations that surfaced.

While some of these are still struggling in the industry amidst the allegations, some succeeded in getting a clean chit from authorities. Recently, rumours surfaced that Patekar has been given a clean chit. However, the 'Aashiq Banaya Aapne' actress quashed the rumours. However, director Vikas Bahl, who was one of the prime accusees, has been set free from all charges against him. The internal complaints committee of Reliance Entertainment, today, set the 'Queen' director free, who was accused by an employee of Phantom films under the #MeToo movement.

(In Pic: From top left, Nana Patekar, Aditi Mittal, Subhash Ghai, Anirban Das Blah. From bottom left, Alok Nath, Sajid Khan, Jatin Das, Vikas Bahl)

2018 saw the rise of the #MeToo movement in India. Inspired by a global campaign against sexual harassment and assault, women across the spectrum opened up and shared their stories about abuse by men..
Read More

Former actress Tanushree Dutta in September accused Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her during the shooting of their 2008 film 'Horn Ok Pleassss'. Dutta went on to say that she had brought up the complaint 10 years ago when the incident occurred, but no action was taken.

The actress also said that she was supposed to do a solo number for the film, but Patekar decided to join in and perform intimate dance steps that made her uncomfortable.

Patekar denied the allegations and sent a legal notice to the actress, who filed a police complaint against the actor and the film's choreographer Ganesh Acharya, producer Samee Siddiqui and director Rakesh Sarang.

Meanwhile, Rakhi Sawant who had replaced Dutta in the song for the film, then accused her of taking drugs on the set. Dutta slapped a Rs 10 crore defamation suit against Sawant.

(In Pic: On the left Nana Patekar, on the right is Tanushree Dutta)

Former actress Tanushree Dutta in September accused Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her during the shooting of their 2008 film 'Horn Ok Pleassss'. Dutta went on to say that she had brought up the ..
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Alok Nath, known for his popular on-screen portrayals, found himself in the midst of the #MeToo controversy after writer-director Vinta Nanda accused him of rape. Actress Sandhya Mridul also alleged that he had made sexual advances towards her during a shoot.

Nanda had alleged that the actor had raped her 19 years ago. Nath, however, refuted the allegations and filed a civil defamation suit against Nanda. Nath's wife Ashu had also recorded her statement in court against Nanda and sought defamation against the writer-director.

Mridul, while slamming Nath for causing agony, praised Tanushree Dutta and Vinta Nanda for their courage to come forward and urged others to not be ashamed and ‘keep this fire going.’

(In Pic: From the left, Vinta Nanda, Alok Nath and Sandhya Mridul)

Alok Nath, known for his popular on-screen portrayals, found himself in the midst of the #MeToo controversy after writer-director Vinta Nanda accused him of rape. Actress Sandhya Mridul also allege..
Read More

On October 6, hours after Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, Madhu Matena and Vikas Bahl announced the decision to dissolve their production house Phantom Films, director Bahl was accused of sexual harassment by a former employee.

The victim who had worked on the production house's film 'Bombay Velvet' recalled her ordeal with Bahl in 2015. Soon after, Kashyap and Motwane went on record to say that they were informed about the allegations by the employee and detailed the backdoor deliberation that took place in order to punish their partner. Their statement led to Bahl filing a Rs 10 crore defamation suit against them. The 'Queen' director also demanded interim action from the court seeking to restrain Kashyap and Motwane from making statements against him to media or through social media.

While the woman had earlier refused to take any legal action saying that she stands by her claims, the former partners continued to fight it out in court.

However, today, the director was set free of the allegations against him.


(In Pic: Top left is Vikas Bahl, top right is Vikramaditya Motwane, bottom left is Anurag Kashyap, bottom right is Kangana Ranaut)

On October 6, hours after Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, Madhu Matena and Vikas Bahl announced the decision to dissolve their production house Phantom Films, director Bahl was accused of sexua..
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Sajid Khan had to step down from 'Houseful 4' after multiple allegations of sexual impropriety surfaced against the Bollywood director. His close friend and aide in Bollywood, Akshay Kumar also chose to not support him and decided not to shoot if Khan was on-board.

On October 11, an aspiring actress, Saloni Chopra had posted a detailed account of the harrowing time she had with Khan.

A freelance journalist also claimed that Khan had exposed himself when she was interviewing him in the early 2000s. After the allegations, Khan stepped down from the upcoming comedy 'Housefull 4'. The movie, produced by Sajid Nadiadwala and being distributed by Fox Star Studios, is the latest entry in a franchise that began in 2010. Khan has directed two of the previous three films.

Priyanka Bose, who has acted in critically acclaimed films including 'Lion', 'Gulaab Gang', and 'Half Ticket' among others, opened up about the incident that allegedly took place when Khan had called her for an audition. She detailed the incident and shared that soon after when she narrated the incident to her partner, he asked him to quit right away. She has been quoted as saying, “He called me for an audition. The text from his assistant read, “Should be comfortable in a bikini.” When I landed up with the required clothing, no sides were given.”

Mandana Karimi alleged that Khan made inappropriate remarks when she visited his office to discuss a role in his 2014 film 'Humshakals'. The actress said that Khan had asked her to remove her clothes, in order for her to get the part.

(In Pic: Top left Sajid Khan, top right Saloni Chopra, bottom left Priyanka Bose, bottom right Mandana Karimi)

Sajid Khan had to step down from 'Houseful 4' after multiple allegations of sexual impropriety surfaced against the Bollywood director. His close friend and aide in Bollywood, Akshay Kumar also cho..
Read More

An actress accused director Luv Ranjan of harassing her in 2010. While Ranjan denied the allegations, she claimed that he had asked her to strip at the audition of 'Pyaar Ka Punchnama'. Ranjan responded to the allegations by issuing a statement in which he said, “This has probably been the longest day of my life. Since the time I have read the allegations, I have been wanting to react to them. I have been wanting to shout out loud that everyone has gone mad. I have been wanting to scream that I am not this man. I have been wanting to clear my name. Friends and Family have shown great support, support that has made me indebted to them for life.

Iranian model-turned-actress Mandana Karimi, who had earlier accused filmmaker Sajid Khan, also alleged sexual misconduct allegations on 'Kya Kool Hain Hum 3’ director Umesh Ghadge. She said that while she was already selected for the part by producer Ekta Kapoor, Ghadge kept saying that he did not want her in the film.


(In Pic: On the left, Luv Ranjan and on the right Umesh Ghadge)

An actress accused director Luv Ranjan of harassing her in 2010. While Ranjan denied the allegations, she claimed that he had asked her to strip at the audition of 'Pyaar Ka Punchnama'. Ranjan respon..
Read More

Writer-lyricist-comedian Varun Grover was accused of ‘touching’ a fellow student inappropriately while studying at IT-BHU, Varanasi in 2001. Grover refuted the anonymous accusation that surfaced on Twitter and called it completely “misleading” and “defamatory”. The lyricist denied being ‘involved in any such incident with anybody’ in his entire life. The 'Sacred Games' writer also mentioned that he supports the #MeToo movement and called his case an isolated small one in a bigger wave.

An assistant director in Bollywood accused Sham Kaushal (actor Vicky Kaushal's father) of showing her a pornographic clip on his phone during an outdoor shoot in 2006. Two other film professionals also accused the action director of sexual misconduct in the past. Following the allegations, Kaushal issued an 'unconditional apology' for “unintentionally causing any hurt or anguish”. Actor, writer, poet Piyush Mishra was also accused of sexual harassment.

A former newspaper staffer had accused actor Mishra of inappropriate behaviour during a party but the writer-director said he was probably a "few drinks down" and apologised for having made the "lady uncomfortable". Mishra said in his response that he had read the allegations made about him and forwarded to him by a few journalists. "I do not remember the stated incident as I was probably a few drinks down. But nevertheless I would like to extend my apology for making the lady uncomfortable either with my words or actions".

(In Pic: From the left, Varun Grover, Sham Kaushal, Piyush Mishra)

Writer-lyricist-comedian Varun Grover was accused of ‘touching’ a fellow student inappropriately while studying at IT-BHU, Varanasi in 2001. Grover refuted the anonymous accusation that surfaced on..
Read More

Casting director Mukesh Chhabra, who was all set to make his directorial debut with the Hindi remake of 'The Fault in our Stars', was suspended from the film over sexual harassment allegations by multiple women.

In a statement released by the production house, Fox Star Studios, said till the time Mukesh Chhabra Casting Company concludes its inquiry into the allegations, the director would remain suspended.

Four aspiring actors had also accused Chhabra, and another casting director Vicky Sadana, of harassing them during the audition.


(In Pic: On the left Mukesh Chhabra, and on the right is Vicky Sadana)

Casting director Mukesh Chhabra, who was all set to make his directorial debut with the Hindi remake of 'The Fault in our Stars', was suspended from the film over sexual harassment allegations by mul..
Read More

AIB originators Tanmay Bhat and Gursimran Khamba made news after the comic group were hit by charges of lewd behaviour against individuals. Bhat was pulled up for inaction against essayist-entertainer Utsav Chakraborty. AIB had issued an announcement sentencing Chakraborty and vowed to not work with him in future.


Soon after, video streaming service Hotstar announced that it was cancelling the production of the third season of 'On Air with AIB'.

(In Pic: From left, Utsav Chakroborty, Tanmay Bhat and Gursimran Khamba)

AIB originators Tanmay Bhat and Gursimran Khamba made news after the comic group were hit by charges of lewd behaviour against individuals. Bhat was pulled up for inaction against essayist-entertaine..
Read More

It was not just the men who were at the centre of the #MeToo row. Kaneez Surekha (right) accused fellow comedian Aditi Mittal (left) of sexually harassing her when she had hosted a comedy show in Mumbai two years ago. Kaneez said that Aditi had kissed her without consent and later tried to gaslight her by saying it never happened.



The comedian also explained how she was triggered to tell her story because Aditi, she felt, was being championed by many on social media for voicing her support towards the movement.



It was not just the men who were at the centre of the #MeToo row. Kaneez Surekha (right) accused fellow comedian Aditi Mittal (left) of sexually harassing her when she had hosted a comedy show in Mum..
Read More



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