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MeToo: Woman who accused Bahl files affidavit in HC, says she stands by allegations

A woman who accused film director Vikas Bahl of sexual misconduct filed an affidavit on Thursday stating that she stands by her allegations but does not want to pursue the case further.

The woman had initially expressed her reluctance to file an affidavit and had only submitted a signed statement last week stating that while she stands by her allegations, she does not want to pursue the case.

Appearing for the woman, senior counsel Navroze Seervai Thursday told Justice Shahrukh Kathawala that she has overcome her reluctance after realising her credibility is being disregarded.

Justice Kathawalla is hearing an application filed by Bahl, seeking direction to his former partners and directors Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena to refrain from speaking to the media or posting on social media about the case in which a female employee has alleged that she was sexually harassed by Bahl in 2015.

Bahl has also filed a defamation suit against Kashyap and Motwane and sought Rs 10 crore in damages from them for ruining his reputation.

The woman in her affidavit said she stands by the correctness, accuracy and truth of her allegations.

The court took the affidavit on record and posted the application for final hearing on November 21.

The court has not passed any order granting interim relief, as sought by Bahl, to restrain Kashyap and Motwane from speaking to the media or posting anything on the issue on social media.

Kashyap and Motwane had earlier filed affidavits , stating that Bahl had confessed to the incident and had also said that he has done so to many women.

Bahl was crying and apologised and assured to mend his ways and go to rehab for his drinking problem, the affidavits said.

Mantena also filed his affidavit on Thursday in response to Bahl’s application and said he was present in Kashyap’s house when the meeting took place between Kashyap and Bahl, but he was not present in the said room.

Justice Kathawalla on Thursday asked Seervai to show all the affidavits filed in the case to the victim woman in case she wants to add anything further.

Another affidavit was filed by an employee of Phantom Films on Thursday, stating that Kashyap and Motwane had held a meeting with the company’s seniors and informed them about the incident and had decided that no female employee will work under Bahl in the future.

Bahl, who directed Kangana Ranuat starrer ‘Queen’, has claimed that Kashyap and Motwane orchestrated the whole campaign against him.

Phantom Films was established in 2011 by Kashyap, Motwane, Bahl and producer Madhu Mantena.

The company’s productions include ‘Lootera’, ‘Hasee Toh Phasee’ and blockbuster ‘Queen’ starring Kangana Ranaut.

Soon after Bahl was named in the #MeToo campaign, Kashyap and Motwane dissolved Phantom Films.

An unidentified female employee of the production company alleged that Bahl sexually assaulted her in Goa during a promotional tour for the movie ‘Bombay Velvet’ in 2015.

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