Sonali Bendre defends Jaya Bachchan

Updated on Sep 12, 2008 12:42 PM IST

Bollywood actor Sonali Bendre comes to Jaya Bachchan's defence saying her "anti-Marathi" remarks were "misinterpreted".

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IANS | By, Mumbai

Bollywood actor Sonali Bendre, a close friend of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Thursday came in defence of actor-MP Jaya Bachchan saying her alleged "anti-Marathi" remarks were "misinterpreted".

"It was not meant as it was construed to be. It was a completely off the cuff remark which was misinterpreted," she said.

Bendre, who was speaking to reporters at the launch of Indian Idol Season 4 said, "I know the Bachchans from a long time and those who know Jayaji would know that it was not made with an attitude to disgrace anyone."

Jaya's alleged remarks at a promotional function of her son Abhishek's latest movie Drona last Saturday snowballed into a major political controversy with the MNS taking umbrage at her utterances. Her husband and Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan apologised on her behalf on Wednesday evening at a media conference in Mumbai.

Bendre, who is the wife of filmmaker Goldie Behl said, "Being my husband's film, I was also present at the launch party and I knew in what context she said that."

"I am not saying this because I am associated with the film but my association with the Bachchans is from the days of Major Saab and till date it is as warm as it was then."

"However, I think now (Amitabh) Bachchan has been quite gracious to seek apology as it had hurt the sentiments of a section of people. Now, I think we should do our bit by putting the matter behind us," added Bendre.

Asked whether she would play a mediator between the two as she is close to both families, Bendre said: "I am too small a person to be involved in this matter."

Raj Thackeray has already announced withdrawal of his agitation against the Bachchans.

The MNS chief kicked off a controversy on Monday when he demanded an unconditional apology from Jaya for her the alleged anti-Marathi utterances, failing which the party would prevent screening in Mumbai of all films in which the Bachchans star.

At the Saturday function in Mumbai, when Jaya was called to speak, she said: "People of Maharashtra, please excuse me. I am from Uttar Pradesh so I will speak in Hindi."

Amitbabh Bachchan's latest film The Last Lear could not be premiered in Mumbai and hoardings were defaced by MNS activists. The English language film targeted at a multiplex audience faced a dismal prospect with theatre owners scared to put up posters. However, the film is now releasing on Friday.

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