Actor Vivek Oberoi has firmly denied reports that he was caught smoking hookah at Mumbai Hotel Sahara Star on Friday, when cops raided the premises.
Oberoi, 35, who is the ambassador for World Health Organisation’s anti-smoking movement, says that he was dining with friends, and not smoking, when the raid took place. “I was having dinner at a five star hotel. I have the bill and at least 25 witnesses to prove that there was neither any kind of smoking or alcohol on my table. Unfortunately, actors have become soft targets for such sensational nonsense. This rubbish should stop. It is very hurtful and unfair,” he says.
The actor says that the reports have damaged his reputation. “This news is false, absolute lies. I can’t believe that some sections of the media can be so irresponsible and report rubbish. It is extremely disturbing that after eleven years of consistent hard work and commitment as an anti tobacco ambassador, being awarded and recognised by the United Nations for my efforts and inspiring hundreds of young volunteers to join the anti tobacco cause, they have damaged my reputation with such lies,” he adds.
According to reports, Oberoi and 23 others were booked under the Tobacco Act when cops stumbled upon hookah smoking in the restaurant, the use of which is banned in public places. The police said that 15 hookahs were seized and all customers were questioned. However, Oberoi requested the cops to let him off as he did not smoke. “Sahara Star has sent a letter of apology to Vivek for the inconvenience caused,” says a source close to the actor.