Court controversies create ripples and steal the limelight- welcome to Bollywood! B-town and its love for controversy is inconspicuous. There’s not a single celeb out there who hasn’t stirred up a controversy and created headlines for all the wrong reasons at least once in their career. Whether it is their personal life, the films they do, or the words they choose to speak, our favourite Bollywood stars manage to stay in the news with things they do and say. While affairs and personal wars are not very uncanny in Tinsel Town, some actors took controversies a notch higher and gave us enough reasons to talk about them for years to come.
Here are the biggest controversies and Bollywood scandals which brought about plenty of unwanted attention to these celebrities:
In 2011, a leaked phone recording between Bollywood actress Bipasha Basu and politician Amar Singh made headlines for all the wrong reasons. A woman (allegedly the actress) calls Singh and proposes a meeting soon. The politician, who addresses her as “Bips”, thanks her for remembering “an old man” like him. When the woman remarks that “age doesn’t matter”, the former Samajwadi Party leader quips, that “age matters between the legs.” To this the woman burst out into laughter. When the tapes were released in the public, a furious Bipasha denied all the allegations and challenged everyone to prove that it is her in the tapes who is talking dirty to Singh.
In 2009, actor Shiney Ahuja had already attained celebrity status in Tinsel Town. He had won the Filmfare for Hazaron Khwahishen Aisi and had given a series of hits like Woh Lamhe, Bhool Bhulaiya, Life In A Metro and Gangster. His career hit a major roadblock when his teenage maid accused him of rape. Though Ahuja’s wife and family claimed that he had been framed, circumstantial evidence like medical reports, bloodstains on the bed sheet, semen on curtains, and severe scratches on Ahuja’s hands proved that he was guilty. However, the maid later retracted the charges in court and stated that the sex was consensual. Despite this, the actor was sentenced to seven years in jail. However, he was later released on bail after three years and appeared in Welcome Back in 2015.
In March 2005, a popular news channel aired a casting couch sting operation in which actor and host Aman Verma was caught on the wrong foot. The call recordings released by the channel showed how the actor convinced a journalist (disguised as a struggling actor and model) to visit him in his apartment on the pretext of offering her roles in a movie. The subsequent videotapes show him asking the girl to get up, turn around and come closer.
Actress Payal Rohtagi accused Dibakar Banerjee, director of films like Love, Sex or Dhokha and Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! of making sexual advances towards her. Payal revealed how her friendship with the director turned sour after she auditioned for one of his films. After a disturbing audition in which she had to play the role of a woman who had lost her husband, Payal was feeling very low so Dibakar offered to visit her in her apartment. The conversation turned towards the character and her weight and Dibakar asked Payal to lift up her top and bare her stomach to him. The actress was so infuriated that she demanded him to leave.
In 2004, model Preeti Jain accused director Madhur Bhandarkar of repeatedly raping her for 5 years on the pretext of marriage and a role in one of his films. Preeti had countless text messages as proof that the director asked for sexual favours from her. The twist in the tale came a year later when Preeti contracted a gangster and paid him 75,000 to kill Bhandarkar. However, things turned south when the gangster failed to complete the task and Preeti asked for her money back.
When the MMS of former lovers Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor lip-locking in a Mumbai restaurant started doing the rounds on the internet, it became one of the most talked about Bollywood scandals. Though both the actors maintained that the video was fake and that they would never kiss in public, the internet already had the dose of gossip it needed!
Bengali siren Riya Sen and her ex-beau Asmit Patel found themselves in the middle of a controversy when a steamy video of the couple in their most intimate moments surfaced on the internet. While Ashmit claimed that the video was real, Riya maintained that it was her lookalike in the video. The couple had just broken up before the MMS got viral and several news reports claimed that it was Asmit who leaked the video for publicity.
Mika Singh has made headlines not just for his peppy numbers but also for stirring some of the biggest controversies of Bollywood. On his birthday in the year 2006, the Mauja hi Mauja singer landed himself in some serious trouble when he forcibly kissed Rakhi Sawant. According to Mika, Rakhi tried to apply cake on his face despite his prior warnings. This enraged him and in order to teach her a lesson, he kissed her in public. Rakhi, her ex-boyfriend, and her other friends created a ruckus at the scene after the kiss episode and also dragged Mika to court.
One of the most scandalous affairs of Bollywood, the Kangana Ranaut-Aditya Pancholi affair started when the Manikarnika actress was still struggling to make it big in the industry. According to Kangana, Pancholi who was her “father’s age” kept her under house arrest, abused and assaulted her. In fact, once she had to jump from her apartment’s window to escape his fury. However, according to Aditya, who was “totally in love” with her, he did everything to help a “penniless” Kangana and was even building a house for her but she cheated on him with another actor. This became one of the biggest Bollywood scandals.
Pakistani actress Veena Malik, who also appeared on Big Boss 4, found herself in the middle of a controversy when a 44-second MMS of her and costar Rajan Verma went viral on the internet. The duo were seen kissing, cuddling and getting intimate. Veena claimed that the video was a scene from the B-grade movie in which both Veena and Rajan were starring. Some even said that the video was only a publicity gimmick released for the film promotion.
Bollywood’s favourite villain, Shakti Kapoor, was embroiled in a sex scandal when he was caught on-camera demanding sexual favours from an aspiring actress. In the video, Kapoor said, “I want to make love to you..and if you want to come in this line you have to do what I say.” He also named three top actresses in the industry and claimed that they had their share of fame only because they slept with producers and directors. After the tapes were broadcasted, Shakti Kapoor said that the tapes were tampered and he went to meet the girl only when she threatened to commit suicide.
In 2007, when Bollywood’s IT couple of the moment, Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan were getting married, there was much bigger news than their star-studded wedding. A model cum actress named Jhanvi Kapoor claimed that the Junior Bachchan had married her in 2006 in a temple in the presence of a few friends. Interestingly, Ms Kapoor was one of the dancers in Abhishek’s Dus Bahane song. In a very Bollywood-like drama, the starlet tried to slit her wrist outside the Bachchan residence. However, she failed to produce pictures of her alleged wedding with the actor and name the friends who she claimed were a part of her wedding to Bachchan.
Manisha Koirala and Subhash Ghai were working together in a movie when their big fallout happened. There were rumours in the industry that Ghai had sexually assaulted Koirala. Apparently, it was Manisha’s mother who spread the rumours to make sure her daughter was in the limelight. According to some reports, Ghai would ask Manisha’s mother to wait outside the vanity van while he would have long discussions with the actress. While Manisha never commented on the controversy, she also never worked with the producer again.
Mamta Kulkarni’s stint in Bollywood was brief but it was not short of controversies. One of the biggest controversies of her 10-year career was Kulkarni accusing director Rajkumar Santoshi of sexual harassment. When Santoshi signed her up for China Gate, Mamta Kulkarni had no films in her hand. However, very soon the director decided to drop her from the cast but couldn’t do so owing to threats from the D-world. After the film failed miserably at the box office, Mamta accused the director of sexually assaulting her and reducing her screen time. Though the authenticity of the allegations could never be proven, the actress’s career took a beating soon.
These controversies and scandals of Bollywood are proof that the industry can be a murky world sometimes. Behind all the glitz and glamour in the industry, there are some dirty secrets, casting couches and wild controversies.
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