Bollywood has grown a year older, but we are still on the fence if anyone has grown any wiser in tinseltown since the start of 2011.
The stars simply don’t learn from their past mistakes, with almost the same set of celebs producing the same set of gasps, shocks and horrors from all those who dished the dirt on the scandals that rocked the Indian film industry in the past year.
The warring Khans, Salman and Shah Rukh (who else), kicked off the new year with a wham bham war of words; while Priyanka Chopra rounded off 2011 with allegations of being a homewrecker once again, this time allegedly frolicking with the latter Khan with whom she works with in the upcoming “Don 2”.
Smoke and mirrors were indeed aplenty, but if you are looking for a recap of all that fodder, 'Emirates 24|7' has it by the bucket in yet another scandalous year for Bollywood.
Khan vs Khan: The saga continues…
While Shah Rukh Khan was ringing in the New Year at his mansion, Mannat, on The Palm, Jumeirah, his one-time friend was frothing at the mouth when news reached Salman Khan’s ears that SRK had tendered a public apology on Karan Johar’s talk show, “Koffee With Karan”.
For those who can’t recall, the brawl between the two superstars erupted nearly two years ago at Katrina Kaif’s birthday bash, where the verbal sparring almost headed towards fisticuffs before Aamir Khan intervened and broke them apart.
Nearly a year later, the media savvy Shah Rukh shot up the TRPs when he spoke about his fight with Salman on his director-producer friends chat show, which was aired first week of January this year.
As soon as Salman got wind of it, the actor refused to take this laying down. He took to the press with his own version of the state of their affairs, saying: “He (SRK) did that on the show so that I’m hounded by this question throughout the year. I’ll not accept such drama.
“If he really was sorry and wanted to apologise, he could’ve called me or dropped by at my place. Expressing regret on a chat show makes no difference to me or anyone.”
Salman was clearly in a chatty mood or simply to angry to what he said next: “Since he chose the media to communicate, he should also divulge the entire conversation that caused the trouble that day.
“I don’t think he’ll do that. Forget about me pardoning him, should anyone hear that conversation even they’ll not pardon him.”
Scandal has never been more delicious. And before you ask, the war still continues.
Bipasha Basu: Single and scandalous
The bong bombshell made it to the news in 2011 for all the wrong reasons.
The first shocker (well, for some maybe) was her split with long-time beau and actor, John Abraham, shook tinseltown. After eight years together, the nasty break-up saw quite a few snidey comments flung at each other from both parties.
But what really kicked up a ruckus was not her single status but rather a seemingly innocent picture that was anything, which she posted on microblogging site Twitter that cause outrage amongst child activists.
The photo in question featured her legs encased in boots with a girl on either side tying her laces. The accompanied tweet read: “I need to learn to tie shoelaces asap. Embarrassed that I can’t. No patience grr. Promise I am not spoilt. Will learn soon [sic].”
Minutes into that tweet, the actress was bombarded with criticism for promoting child labour. Basu immediately claimed that those two girls are her sister and friend but by then, the damage was done.
Vidya Balan: Morphed into a victim
The world sat up and took notice when a morphed bikini-clad picture emerged on the web, featuring actress Vidya Balan on the magazine cover of “Maxim”.
‘The dirty picture’ shocked the actress so much so that she was prepared to file lawsuits against those who would dare to circulate this image in cyperspace.
Her spokesperson immediately denied that it was indeed Balan on the cover, adding: “The concerned magazine has been contacted and they have clarified that they have nothing to do with it.
“She is not going to sit tight if such a thing happens again. We are exploring legal options to stop this malice against actresses of Bollywood.”
While almost a year on, not much have emerged on this front, Balan is sure to get support and sympathy from actresses Katrina Kaif and Sonakshi Sinha who have both been victimised earlier in such a way.
Poonam Pandey: Dares to bare
A handful of industry folks had ever heard the name: Poonam Pandey. But all that changed when the Cricket World Cup rolled around this spring season.
The things people do for five minutes of fame, and this aspiring model milked it for all its worth by promising to strip down to her birthday suit if Team Blue won the World Cup. She even wrote to the sport’s governing body, BCCI, requesting permission to treat the boys in the locker room, but naturally, she was denied the honour.
But the notoriety was enough to secure her a spot on the hit reality TV show, “Big Boss 5”, along with garner a larger fan following with some scandalous images on her Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan: Drop it like it’s hot
Come summer and India’s cricketing World Cup victory was all but forgotten when grandpa B, aka Amitabh Bachchan, took to Twitter (where else) to announce to the world that his darling daughter-in-law, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, was pregnant.
It almost seemed as the world and its aunt were basking with glee with the news, but all clearly wasn’t fine with a certain film director and a production house that had announced their magnum opus, “Heroine”, with the star in question in May at the Cannes Film Festival.
Director Madhur Bhandarkar and UTV Motion Pictures were in a tizzy it seems when they heard over the news that their star, Aishwarya was being paid a visit by the story, mere days after she had commenced shooting more the highly expensive film.
A war or words ensued, with Bhandarkar saying that she hid the news of her pregnancy when signing for “Heroine”, while the Bachchans maintained a stoic silence for the most part.
After a month of rumours and stories in the press, the distressed director finally dropped Aishwarya from the film and took to his blog to say: “Today I am sitting alone in my office after the plugs being pulled off from my film “Heroine”...
“My conscience stands clear as I have been honest to my craft irrespective of the repercussions...
“My inherent belief is that motherhood is pious and I am humbled by it. I must also add that I salute every woman who chooses to work in this extremely delicate state.
“To put things in perspective, I am a man who is surrounded by women in my family. My wife, my sister, my mother and my daughter.... These are the people that make my life!
“In fact my wife when she was carrying my daughter worked through her pregnancy.... but in the same breath I would like to say that I will never knowingly put a woman in harm’s way knowing the delicate nature of her health.”
Today, Kareena Kapoor is Bhandarkar’s new “Heroine” and the Bachchans, well, we do wonder if they will ever work with him or UTV again.
The Bachchans and IVF?
Once the dust settled on the “Heroine” saga, speculation over the baby’s sex soon followed, with husband Abhishek Bachchan saying on record that he hoped it was baby girl.
With the media frenzy surrounding the pregnancy, a certain Bhairavi Goswami – the actress from “Bheja Fry” in case you were wondering – decided she needed her share of the limelight.
So, in a blink of an eye, Goswami also took to social media to say: “Nauseating to read superstars giving interviews about wanting a girl baby when she has gone to Bangkok to an IVF clinic which specialises in boy babies.
“Height of hypocrisy. They know damn well it’s a boy; after all she has to produce a male heir at any cost. Typical UP mentality, no wonder that state has such high female foeticide. [sic]”
However, the egg was smack in Goswami’s face when November 16 saw Aishwarya give birth to baby girl.
Oh well, better luck next time we guess.
Minissha Lamba: Yes she Cannes
While the small-time Minissha Lamba was all excited over her trip to the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, the playground for international celebrities proved to be an expensive trip in the end when her return to Mumbai saw the actress hauled in by the airports customs department.
The “Bheja Fry 2” actress was detained for a tiresome 16 hours courtesy her undeclared jewellery, worth well over Rs500,000.
When news broke, the drama continued over Twitter between Lamba and Indian author and columnist, Shobhaa De, who drew out her claws to slash the poor actress’ image to smithereens.
De’s tweet went something like this: “Poor Minissha: Lamba race ki ghodi (someone in for the long haul) or lame duck? Warning to other Bollywood wannabes to leave those borrowed rocks at home. Dazzle with your talent. [sic]”
However, Lamba is not one who ever takes things laying down. The actress got her own back, responding: “Ms De, real writers write books. Slandering on #Twitter is a job of the less gifted. ‘Dazzle with your talent’ Ms De, not your slander.”
The drama died down between the two shortly after, but it seems Lamba’s bad luck didn’t, with the actress being detained at Dubai airport a few months later over a passport issue.
Priyanka Chopra: Aspiring homewrecker, again?
We love a good old love triangle. And we love it more when there's a fourth person involved.
Tinseltown's been buzzing overtime with rumours of King Khan secretly dating Priyanka Chopra. The question in everyone's mind when SRK openly planted a kiss on Piggy Chops at the Just Dance finale was, 'is it true?'
What adds fuel to this fire is a report on what allegedly took place at a party in Mannat, King Khan's home.
Apparently, Mehr Jessia, wife of SRK's best bud Arjun Rampal, took it upon herself to admonish the Badhsah of Bollywood for his 'inappropriate' behaviour. At this party that was also attended by Priyanka Chopra, Mehr took SRK aside and told him that it wasn't fair to the Missus as he's invited his leading lady home.
And that was that! King Khan unleashed his temper and told Mehr to mind her business. She also received a mouthful from hubby dearest for playing nosey parker.
It's all just hearsay. But it's definitely beeped into vision on our scandal radar.
Veena Malik: In the mood for nude
Five minutes of fame have stretched to 15 and still going strong as controversy queen Veena Malik continues to hog the limelight weeks after her nude photoshoot appeared in FHM magazine, with the initials of the ISI, Pakistan’s spy agency etched on her arm.
Film stories are made of the intrigue that followed with Malik accusing the magazine of photoshopping her bikini off to make her seem nude, while the
magazine has denied such accusations.
She was quoted in the media as saying: “The things I have done in life, I have the guts to stand by.
"This is my body, and I will take advantage of it if I want to. And it’s a very beautiful body. But I will not allow any man out there to morph my pictures and put it on the cover, just to sell their magazine. They are gaining. I’m losing.”
The magazine and Malik are reportedly suing each other for £3m in a bitter exchange of lawsuits.
Rina Golan and the Bollywood casting couch
A small-time model and struggler created a sensation when she dared to expose the Bollywood infamous casting couch in her new book, naming a few names that shook up the film industry.
Rina Golan and her book, “Dear Mr Bollywood: How I Fell In Love With India, Bollywood And Shah Rukh Khan” ruffled quite a few feathers when she mentioned celebrity filmmakers such as Subhash Ghai and Anees Bazmi, along with singer Anoop Jalota, all propositioned her.
In an interview with Mail Today, the lady said: “I wonder why people get shocked at the mention of casting couch. I have witnessed numerous young girls and boys getting exploited.
Golan talks about how Ghai tried to take her to his bedroom and then it was Bazmee at a later stage who asked her out to dinner when she approached him for a role in his movie “Thank You.”
“We would have some fun,” she said was what he had told her.
Bazmee and Jalota have both denied the allegations.