At the recently-held 94th Academy Awards ceremony, actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage. This incident triggered massive furore and almost eclipsed the event. In our own ‘desi’ Bollywood, there have been many incidents when movie stars came to blows with each other. Here we look at five such infamous incidents:
1) Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan: Two biggest superstars of Bollywood got embroiled in an ugly altercation at Katrina Kaif’s birthday in 2008. Apparently, Salman was displeased about the fact that SRK had refused to do a cameo in his home production ‘Main Aur Mrs Khanna’ and he kept needling his ‘Karan Arjun’ co-star throughout the evening. In retaliation, SRK made a nasty remark about his ex-girlfriend Aishwarya Rai Bachchan which sent Salman into a paroxysm of rage.
A livid Salman grabbed SRK by his collar and slapped him in front of everyone. Abuses flew thick and fast and SRK was ushered out of the party by a few guests. Their acrimonious fight vertically split Bollywood and divided it into two camps. Though the warring Khans didn’t badmouth each other in the press after the imbroglio, the cold war between them continued for five years and ended in 2013 when they hugged each other at an Eid party.
2) Shah Rukh Khan and Shirish Kunder: In 2012, Sanjay Dutt threw a party after his movie ‘Agneepath’ struck gold at the box-office. SRK entered the party at 3:30 am along with his three bodyguards. At that time, SRK had fallen out with his one-time friend Farah Khan and her husband Shirish Kunder.
The trigger was Farah signing Akshay Kumar for ‘Tees Maar Khan’ instead of SRK. Shirish, in fact, had tweeted jubilantly when SRK’s ‘Ra.One’ bit the dust at ticket counters. “I just heard a 150 cr firework fizzle,” he had said.
Both SRK and Shirish were inebriated as the party was in full swing. Suddenly, SRK jumped on Shirish and pinned him down on the sofa before raining punches on him. He apparently pulled his hair and dragged him, with the help of his bodyguards, on the floor.
A couple of days after the fight, Shirish told a leading daily, “Next time, I challenge him (SRK) to come in front of me to fight. I will give it right back to him. Someone please ask him to stop behaving like an old, spineless man. He kept telling me to go back to your friend and tell him main uski ***** marunga. If he has some problem with that friend of mine (Salman), why doesn’t he have the guts to confront him?”
3) Salman Khan and Subhash Ghai: In 1998, superstar Salman Khan and celebrated director Subhash Ghai were involved in a flaming brawl at a party thrown by Kailash Surendranath. Apparently, Salman’s then girlfriend Aishwarya had complained to him about Ghai’s misdemeanour with her on the sets of ‘Taal’. A possessive Salman was already peeved with Ghai. The animosity was hanging in the air.
During the party, Salman and Ghai had a verbal tiff which soon turned into a full-blown scuffle. Salman socked Ghai in the face and threw him on the floor in a fit of rage.
Recalling the incident, Salman said, “There are times when you do get out of control. That person hit me with a spoon, almost broke a plate on my face, pissed on my shoes and grabbed me by the neck. I could not control myself. And see what happened. Next day, I had to go and apologize.”
Ghai also shared his version of the event. “It was very embarrassing for me that night and I came back home completely depressed. Next morning I got a call from Salim sahib who paid his respect to me by apologizing and sent Salman to my home within one hour. Salman came and stood in front of me like a guilty child. I smiled and asked him, ‘What happened to you last night?’ and he said, ‘I have come here because my father told me to do so.’ I said, ‘So you are not sorry?’ and he replied, ‘Of course I am.’ That’s how we broke the ice,” he said.
Later, Ghai signed Salman for his directorial venture ‘Yuvvraaj’ in 2008. See, there are no permanent friends and enemies in the industry.
4) Akshay Kumar and Prakash Jaju: In 2004, the film magazines were agog with rumours of a scorching romance between Akshay Kumar and Priyanka Chopra. They had given hits such as ‘Andaz’ and ‘Mujhse Shaadi Karogi’ together and were considered a super-hot pair. By then Akshay had married Twinkle Khanna and these rumours were apparently driving a wedge between him and his wife.
Akshay got to know that Priyanka’s manager Prakash Jaju was behind leaking these salacious rumours to the media. Hence, at a Filmistan studio, he got hold of Jaju and beat him to a pulp. He also compelled Priyanka to remove him as a manager.
However, Twinkle put her foot down firmly and told Akshay never to work with Priyanka again. ‘Khiladi’ relented and since 2005, he hasn’t done any movie with Priyanka. An embittered Jaju still foams at the mouth while recalling how Akshay had beaten him.
5) Nutan and Sanjeev Kumar: Legendary actress Nutan sent shockwaves in the industry when she slapped Sanjeev Kumar on the sets of their movie ‘Devi’ in 1969. Nutan was infuriated because she believed that Sanjeev was deliberately spreading rumours of their affair to the media. She was not only married but also had a child (Mohnish Bahl).
“Ever since I acted with Sanjeev in ‘Gouri’, my relationship with him had always been friendly and straightforward, courteous, and professional. But not more than that! It was a bolt from the blue when I read a report linking me romantically with Sanjeev. At first I took it with a pinch of salt and laughed it off. But later, I came to know that the rumours were gaining ground beyond limits. The gossip was threatening to become very serious and distasteful,” she told a magazine in 1972.
“Imagine my shock when a reliable associate of mine revealed to me that Sanjeev himself was responsible for such talk. And I had no reason to doubt this information. He had actually been with Sanjeev when the latter informed some reporters about our association. He even had the nerve to confess that I was living with him, that I wanted to marry him. He also confessed that we were both wondering if we could get custody of my child! Utter rubbish! What did he think? That I would ever leave my most wonderful husband for him? Sanjeev isn’t even worth his toe nail,” she thundered.
She also recalled the slapping incident which took place when she confronted him on the sets. “I told him quietly that I wanted to talk to him. With the same indifferent expression, he flicked his wrist disrespectfully at a corner and said, “Let’s go and sit there.” And that did it! I couldn’t take it anymore and I let him have one stinging slap, and a large piece of my mind. I don’t regret my action. I had a clear conscience that I was justified in defending my reputation. He had no right to malign my name,” she added.
Later, Sanjeev reportedly had a short fling with Hema Malini, but she ditched him at the altar to marry Dharmendra. A forlorn Sanjeev died of heart attack in 1985.
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