Crew Member Recounts Her Experience Of Being Sexually Assaulted By 'Queen' Director Vikas Bahl

Pallavi Manoj , 06 Oct 2018
Vikas Bahl

I am appalled and angry at this. How many more women have to come out telling their stories before organizations and people actually understand the importance of taking strict actions against the perpetrator of sexual harassment and not the victim?

In yet another shocking revelation, a woman has opened up as to how the director of Queen Vikas Bahl had sexually assaulted her in a hotel room. In a detailed interview to Huffington Post, she revealed that it was right before the release of Bombay Velvet that this incident had taken place. They were at a party which was held for the cast and crew of the film in Goa and it was in the early hours on 5th May 2015 when Bahl insisted on dropping her to her hotel.

Detailing the events that took place she said,

We were all having fun, I had been drinking vodka and by now, I was really, really drunk. When the party finally wound down, Bahl offered to drop me to my room. “I told him I will figure it out,” but he pointed to the fact that I was still recovering from an accident that had left her with a limp, and insisted he accompany her for her safety.

The woman said that she didn’t make anything of it as Bahl was her boss Anurag Kashyap‘s business partner and he had acted absolutely normal throughout the party.

When we finally reached my room, I hugged him, bid him goodnight, and rushed inside to the bathroom.I couldn’t hold my pee anymore.

But little did she know that Bahl would slip into the room behind her.

When I came out, I was taken aback to see Bahl lying on the footrest of her bed. He acted as if he couldn’t get up. I asked him to get up, leave. In my head, I was thinking furiously, ‘what should I do to get him out?'”

The woman said she asked Bahl to leave the room several times, but he refused.

I had no energy to do anything more. He wasn’t leaving my room. I gathered some strength and put multiple pillows between the two of us to create some sort of a divider. Everything was blurry, I was on the verge of passing out but one part of my brain was very aware of this man who wouldn’t leave my bed.

Within seconds of lying down, she said she felt him put his hands in her dress.

I felt Bahl put his hand inside my dress. I resisted several times. When I pushed him away one final time, Bahl dropped his pants and began to masturbate. I was too shaken to face him, so Bahl masturbated onto her back. “Fuck you, bitch” he’d said.

The very next day Bahl came up to her in office made it a point to ask her loudly whether she got home okay because he said she was too drunk. She avoided him after that and confided to a cast member of Bombay Velvet what had happened to her. The cast member even confirmed this had happened.

The woman also said that she had opened up about the incident to Anurag Kashyap but at the time he was frequently drunk because of the failure of his film Bombay Velvet. She said that he had told her, “I don’t want to know this right now”. But he promised to fix it.

Anurag Kashyap confessed that he too remembers her talking about it.

I have a vague memory of it. I was super drunk and didn’t quite process what she said. At that time, I knew something happened, I didn’t know exactly what.

After knowing about this, the women said that in 2016, Kashyap asked her to work with Bahl on an ad project. This, she said made her realize that Kashyap wasn’t thinking about her or the trauma she went through.

But in 2017, Kashyap was trying to figure out what to do about the situation, but apparently firing Vikas wasn’t an option.

He said,

We spent a lot of time working that out. Since there wasn’t an FIR so we had no legal ground to fire him, it’s entirely my failing that I didn’t know how these contracts were made and I should’ve looked into it more clearly. I shouldn’t be starting a company if I don’t know how to run one.

The story of this girl’s harassment was briefly covered by Mumbai Mirror in 2017, but Bahl had categorically denied everything in his statement.

And now finally today, we get to hear that the production house – a collaboration of the directors Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, Vikas Bahl and producer Madhu Matena announced dissolution. And now we finally know the reason behind their split.

While all four of these men have various projects under their sleeves including the perpetrator Vikas Bahl, the woman is still struggling to find a job.

This story is making me sick to my stomach. I truly hope this woman finally gets her justice.

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