Bollywood’s Most Controversial Stars

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There is nothing like a good controversy to get people talking and Bollywood has it’s fair share of controversial stars. We put a spotlight on 2 of them and why the media just couldn’t leave them alone!

Preity Zinta
As Preity put it in a recent Koffee With Karan appearance ‘I’m controversy’s favourite child’, and favourite child she certainly is! This bubbly actress is unfortunate enough to be surrounded by them. One of the most talked about incidents would be the Bharat Shah Case. Bharat Shah was the financer for Chori Chori Chupke Chupke and was arrested for having connections with the underworld in 2000. While shooting for the film Preity Zinta claimed to have received threatening phone calls from a man who said ‘Main bhai ka aadmi Razak bol raha hoon aur mujhe 50 lakh chahiye’. Her testimony in court helped the Mumbai Police’s claims that the underworld majorly influenced many Bollywood productions. She was the only witness not to have retracted her statement when several other film personalities did. Sharukh Khan, Salman Khan, Sanjay Gupta and Rakesh Roshan being some of the names.

In December 2006 boyfriend Ness Wadia was accused of attacking construction workers at her residence in Bandra. This clearly infuriated Preity since the press went as far as to say that a woman and child were also hurt. She retaliated by facing the media and giving an angry rant as to how they should conduct themselves and challenged them to find the woman they claim was hurt in the fight and she would give them 1 crore!

In 2005 she also filed a defamation case against a leading newspaper for printing false information about her over the Salman-Aishwarya recorded phone conversation scandal. It’s attitude like this that we just can’t get enough of!

Another much talked about rumour is her alleged affair with Shekhar Kapur. Ex wife Suchitra Krishnamurthy, accused Preity of being the reason for the divorce with Kapur. Preity has repeatedly denied any involvement. On being asked about this matter on KWK, Preity responded ‘You know I have a lot of respect for Shekhar. I like him a lot. Initially, in the beginning, I felt a bit odd…awkward…but I’m okay now!’

Salman Khan
You can’t mention controversy without talking about this star. You can probably dedicate a whole book to the endless controversies Salman has encountered and it still wouldn’t be enough! Let’s take a look at a summary of the ones that got Bollywood talking.

As everyone may know, Salman’s tumultuous relationship with actress Aishwarya Bachchan wasn’t exactly a pleasant affair. Magazines dedicated columns, newspapers printed article after article, and the media couldn’t stop following them around. Salman was accused of being physically abusive, and while people were skeptical, they were shocked to see Aishwarya on an awards show with a black eye and crutches. She said she had fallen down the stairs, but some just didn’t buy it. Could Salman have been physically abusive? It doesn’t help when rumours were going around about abusing ex girlfriends too!

Things took an ugly turn when Aishwarya broke up with the super star. Several crew members reported that he appeared on the sets of Kuch Na Kaho and pushed Aishwarya and hit her car. It was alleged threatening behaviour like this that led Vivek Oberoi to call a press conference on how Salman had been threatening him and had called him 41 times. The actor was heavily criticized by the media and film fraternity for going public, whereas fans simply saw it as concern for a person he cared about when he felt no-one else was helping. Whatever may have been the case there was no denying that they were a dream couple… On screen that is!

In September 2002, the actor was arrested for driving in a drunken state and running over 4 people on the pavement and killing one. He was released on bail.

In 2005, recorded transcripts of a conversation he had with Aishwarya were apparently ‘leaked’ in which he claimed that he had underworld links and that he had gotten physical with Preity Zinta. On examining these transcripts, experts came to the conclusion that they were fake.

Early in 2006 he was convicted of killing 2 blackbucks (an endangered species) and sentenced to a year in prison. The appeal is continuing.

Whether you love him or hate him, one thing is for sure. You just can’t stop talking about him!

Other stars that deserve a mention:

Rani Mukerji
The talented actress was rumoured to be engaged to Aditya Chopra and the reason for his divorce with ex wife Payal recently. Although the engagement has been denied repeatedly by several people close to both stars, the relationship hasn’t…

Co-starring with Govinda in the past led to the circulation of rumours that they were having an affair; this rumour has been strongly denied.

Shilpa Shetty
Signing on to do the British reality TV series Big Brother seemed like a good move for this graceful actress, but who knew the chaos that would ensue upon entering? The accusations of racism against Shilpa caused an outrage in both the UK and India, with even politicians discussing the matter and making the headlines on newspapers everywhere! She went on to visit the Queen and became an ideal role model for young people. Her popularity is still going strong even today. Even the outrage that the Richard Gere incident caused in India has not tarnished her reputation.

Kareena Kapoor
When Kareena entered the industry, she entered with style (with Abhishek Bachchan no less). But the rumoured affair with the actor she was originally meant to star with in her debut (Hrithik Roshan) is what got everyone talking. Hrithik answered these rumours by marrying childhood sweetheart Suzzane Khan, putting everyone’s tongues at rest. However one can’t help thinking that Ms Kapoor was very much infatuated with him, while Hrithik did nothing to encourage these types of feelings. And who can forget the famous MMS clip incident with current boyfriend Shahid Kapur? Making the front page of a certain newspaper and being circulated throughout the internet, it was a cause of much embarrassment.

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