Fights are a regular affair in Bollywood, but the Kangana Ranuat-Hrithik Roshan battle has completely changed the rules of the game. With each party issuing legal notices to the other, the case has opened a veritable can of worms. Even as the two exchange accusations and counter-accusations, hitting every newspaper headline in the process, let’s take a step back and look at all the other fights that rocked the world of cine stars in the past.
Salman Khan: Controversy’s favourite child
The Dabbang star has always been mired in some controversy or the other. Be it his famous fights with Shah Rukh Khan or issues with ex-girlfriend Aishwarya Rai, Salman has always hogged the limelight for all the wrong reasons.
Salman and Aishwarya began dating during the shoot of their first film, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, in 1999. Though they were seen as the golden pair of Bollywood, their relationship was mired by intense jealousy, physical violence and verbal duels. Once, while Aishwarya was busy shooting on the sets for SRK’s Chalte Chalte, an inebriated Salman barged in and tried forcing her to leave with him. When she refused, he began hurting himself till she gave in. Following this, SRK removed her from the film – a development that strained their relationship too.
The Salman-Ash relationship was troubled from the start. Aishwarya even arrived at a 2002 awards function in Mumbai with a fractured hand. Though something else was offered as the official reason, speculations arose that Salman – who had reportedly landed at her Lokhandwala apartment late in the night and banged at her door till she was forced to open it – was responsible.
Though most of Salman’s relationships seemed to end on a sour note, it was his fight with SRK that provided the tabloids with all the fodder they needed. The occasion was Katrina Kaif’s birthday celebration in 2008, and Salman was said to have been picking on the Chak De! India star the whole evening. An irritated SRK then reportedly made a snide remark about Salman’s ex-girlfriend Aishwarya Rai, which got Salman all fired up. An ugly spat followed, and the two did not speak for years. The animosity ended only on Salman’s 50th birthday in 2015.
Of course, the tales of Salman’s fights don’t end here: He is said to have threatened actor Vivek Oberoi when Aishwarya went to him on a rebound after her infamous break-up with the star. He fought with Akshay Kumar on the set of Fugli and, holy hell, even had an argument with ‘good friend’ Aamir when the latter, we are told, spoke patronisingly about Salman’s body of work.
When Zeenat Aman was beaten up by Sanjay Khan
Fights have always been a constant fixture in Bollywood. Back in 1980, rumoured couple Zeenat Aman and Sanjay Khan had a nasty showdown at Taj Hotel when the actor-director allegedly assaulted the Satyam Shivam Sundaram star. They were supposed to have secretly tied the knot in Jaisalmer while shooting for his film, Abdullah.
Rishi Kapoor lashes out at Deepika Padukone over Ranbir
Some good-natured banter between Deepika and Sonam Kapoor on the popular chat show Coffee with Karan in 2010 had veteran actor Rishi Kapoor fuming at Deepika. And what exactly did he take offence at? When questioned by Karan on what would be her gift for Ranbir, she replied: a pack of condoms. That, naturally, had the senior Kapoor fuming!
When Dharmendra beat up journalist Devyani Chaubal
In the heydays of the Hema Malini-Dharmendra affair, it is said that Hema’s mother wasn’t too pleased about her daughter’s affections for a married man with four children. Though the actor – then married to Prakash Kaur – was welcome at their home, Hema’s mother got a rude shock when she formally announced her relationship with him. All hell broke loose when journalist Devyani Chaubal splashed the news in the media. An infuriated Dharmendra was said to have then followed Devyani, and thrashed her in public.
Controversy, thy name is Shah Rukh
SRK has also had his share of unsavoury incidents through his career, and his fight with Salman was only the tip of the iceberg. In 2012, he was said to have assaulted Shirish Kundar, husband of Om Shanti Om director Farah Khan. As the story goes, he was stalked by Shirish through the course of a party thrown by Sanjay Dutt, but lost it around the time he was going to leave. He pushed Shirish onto a sofa and slapped him.
It is a well-known fact that Aamir Khan and SRK have never been friends. While much of that has to do with the fierce competition and their conflicting acting styles, they have never really come down to fisticuffs. Their strained relationship bears the same character as that of festering embers in a fireplace – not flaring up but not dying either.
However, things did come to a head once, when a blog by Aamir Khan in 2008 reportedly didn’t go down well with the DDLJ star. Aamir, who was recuperating from a hamstring injury during the shooting of Ghajini, had written on his blog: “Shah Rukh is licking my feet and I am feeding him biscuits every now and then. What more can I ask for?”
He later clarified that Shah Rukh was the name of his caretaker’s dog, but SRK wasn’t amused.
The Wankhede stadium fracas between the actor and Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) officials made headlines during the IPL tournament in 2012. While there was much mud-slinging from either side, the actor was accused of being drunk, manhandling a woman fan, and using foul language. In his defence, SRK said that while he did use foul language, it was the security personnel who had misbehaved with “little girls”. The actor was banned from entering the stadium until 2015.
When Twinkle Khanna slapped her husband, Akshay, in public
Akshay Kumar, Bollywood’s casanova from the 90’s, had an ugly fight with his wife, Twinkle Khanna, at the lobby of a Goa hotel in 2004. Apparently, things got so ugly that their marriage was said to have come under a cloud. Rumour has it that Twinkle and Akshay screamed at each other in full view of the hotel staff, with Twinkle slapping her husband while accusing him of having an affair with a co-star. A witness is said to have heard Priyanka’s name being uttered repeatedly.
Kareena and her catfights with Bipasha, Priyanka Chopra
Blue-blooded Kareena Kapoor had enough reasons to be uppity. An actor who was in the spotlight even as a kid, her equation with her female colleagues hasn’t been a smooth ride. Early in her career, while filming for Ajnabee in 2001, she apparently called co-star Bipasha ‘kali billi’. Apparently, the Kapoor kudi was livid that her designer, Manish Malhotra, had lent a helping hand to Bips. Kareena, of course, wouldn’t stop at that. On Coffee with Karan, she had mocked Bipasha’s then boyfriend John Abraham, calling him expressionless. Not to take things lying down, Bipasha retorted , in another episode, that Kareena had way too many expressions!
Apparently, the Quantico actor Priyanka and Bebo were also at loggerheads on many occasions. In an episode of Coffee with Karan, Kareena said she didn’t think any of her contemporaries – with the exception of Rani Mukherjee – were ‘actresses’. Priyanka put up a dignified defence – stating that Kareena, being her senior, should speak with maturity. However, Kareena was in no mood to back down. In another episode of the same chat show, she reportedly said Priyanka had an ‘unnatural’ accent. Priyanka, who was in no mood to take things lying down this time around, retorted that she got the accent from the same place Bebo’s boyfriend (Saif) got his.
Saif Ali Khan, the petulant royal kid
Giving the other Khans a run for their money is Saif Ali Khan, whose career remains studded with squabbles and brawls. Back in 1994, Saif and his former wife, Amrita Singh, stormed into the office of Star and Style and assaulted journalist Kanan Divecha for publishing an article about her alleged affair with a co-star. After much drama, the Bombay HC asked to duo to tender an apology and settle the matter.
In 1995, Saif attacked gay right activist Ashok Row Kavi at his house in SantaCruz. Apparently, Kavi had said in his Bombay Dost review of Main Khiladi Tu Anari that the movie had a gay subtext.
In 2012, Saif was arrested and later released on bail for allegedly assaulting South African businessman Iqbal Sharma and another elderly man. While partying at Taj hotel, Iqbal had objected to Saif and his friends – Amrita Arora, Kareena and Karisma – creating a ruckus. Saif, of course, maintained that he had acted out of self defence.
The Rajesh Khanna-Amitabh Bachchan rivalry
As rivalries go, it is said that Rajesh Khanna, the first superstar of Hindi films, never really forgave Amitabh Bachchan for dethroning him. Insiders say that in the early 1970s, when Rajesh was the reigning superstar and Amitabh only an aspiring actor, the former would never acknowledge him. While shooting for Bawarchi (1972), Rajesh would greet everybody with a ‘hello’ but completely cold-shoulder the lanky newcomer. Jaya Bahaduri, who was the female lead in the film, couldn’t have any more of it – she boldly announced that the day was not far when her boyfriend would become a mega-star and the proud ones would have to slink back and lick their wounds. How prophetic! Zanjeer and Namak Haram released in 1973, and the rest – as they say – was history!