Sallu to Ash: Dawood is a friend
That is how Salman Khan tried to bully Aishwarya Rai into performing for Abu Salem. The Hindustan Times has tapes of conversations between Salman and several stars, chiefly Aishwarya. None of these have been heard
before. An investigation by J Dey.
The story begins in August of 2001: Chori Chori Chupke Chupke had been released. The dirty money that funded it had been traced. In January, the film’s financier, Bharat Shah, had been arrested.
It was also a time when Salman and Ash were still in a relationship.
Ash is about to leave for the US on a 50-day tour when Salman begins calling her on the night of August 28. He phones her relentlessly over the next three nights.
First complaining that she was not taking his calls and then threatening her by saying that he had “people” who would watch her in America.
But in one call he gets straight to business: “Will you do the Salem show or not? Yes or no?” It is clear that Salman has made a commitment to the don that he would get Ash to perform.
Well before August 2001, the Mumbai police had obtained phone surveillance clearances under MCOCA.
Anybody connected with Chori Chori could have been on the list — especially the film’s ‘bad boy’ hero, Salman.
This doesn’t stop him, however. He first gets abusive. Then slides into desperation mode. And when nothing seems to work, says he will have Ash and her family knocked off. “You know I can do it. After all, everybody from Dawood Ibrahim to Guru Satam is a friend,” says Salman.