Kangana Ranaut joins the #MeToo storm, ‘totally’ believes sexual harassment claims against Vikas Bahl

[dropcap]K[/dropcap]angana Ranaut, who played the lead role in Vikas Bahl’s award winning film Queen, accused him of sexually harassment.

In a HuffPost India report, a former employee of Phantom Films accused Vikas Bahl of sexually assaulting her in May 2015 at a hotel in Goa. She talked about her ordeal, said she had confided in Kashyap, and said he did not take action. Then she quit the company in 2017.

‘Totally believe her’

Kangana, during a recent interview with India Today, spoke up in support of the survivor and said, “Totally believe her. Even though Vikas was married back in 2014 when we were filming Queen, he bragged about having casual sex with a new partner every other day. I don’t judge people and their marriages but you can tell when addiction becomes sickness. He partied every night and shamed me for sleeping early and not being cool enough; I often told him off. He was scared of me, but still every time we met socially greeted and hugged each other.”

The 31-year-old actress recalled how every time she met the director she felt something was wrong with him, when they hugged, “He’d bury his face in my neck, hold me really tight and breathe in the smell of my hair. It took me great amount of strength and effort to pull myself out of his embrace. He’d say ‘I love how you smell K’. I could tell something is wrong with him.”

Kangana also revealed how she lost out on a a good script when she decided to help the girl who accused Vikas Bahl of sexual harassment. The actress said, “At that time Vikas had come to me with a script about a gold medalist from Haryana. When I supported the girl, he stopped talking to me. I didn’t mind losing out on a good script and I never called him either. I was determined to say what I felt was right. The matter was pushed under the carpet and I didn’t hear any updates on the same.”

Bollywood’s reaction to claims against Bahl

Phanton Films dissolved

Filmmaker partners Vikramaditya Motwane, Anurag Kashyap, Madhu Mantena and Vikas Bahl have decided to dissolve their joint banner Phantom Films, seven years after they set it up.

The four intend to exert their creativity independently and have timely collaborations with each other, a press release on Saturday said, without citing the reason for this decision.

The last film produced under Phantom will be Hrithik Roshan-starrer Super 30 directed by Bahl.

Anurag Kashyap said, “We did our best and we succeeded and we failed, but I know for sure we are all stronger and wiser and will continue to pursue our dreams our own individual ways. We wish each other the best.”

Kangana on Phantom’s dissolution and Bahl

“I could tell something is wrong with him. I believe this girl. But what is sad, is that now that Phantom has been dissolved, many are attacking him, even though the girl asked for help long ago. At that time, the story was conveniently killed, but I supported her at that time as well. You can see my media interaction during one of my brand endorsement interactions. I thought the #MeToo movement would catch up but I was wrong,” Kangana told India Today.

The Manikarnika actress added, “It’s amusing that after the news of Phantom dissolution many are finding the courage to attack him. Shame on such a society. Go look at yourselves in the mirror, bunch of cowards, attacking powerless men won’t begin a movement. Either we do it or we don’t. Let’s not be opportunists. If we are a shit society, let’s accept it, at least have that much honesty within yourself. Selective outrage will only serve as entertainment, this will just be tabloid gossip and nothing else.”

Kangana Ranaut’s upcoming film Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi  will clash with Vikas Bahl’s Super 30, on January 25 next year.