National Award-winning actor Ajay Devgn on Thursday accused actor and self-proclaimed film critic Kamaal Rashid Khan of claiming that filmmaker Karan Johar paid him to praise Johar’s upcoming film and badmouth Devgn’s next venture. Both films — Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Devgn’s Shivaay —are scheduled for an October 28 release.
On Thursday night, Devgn, one of this year’s Padma Shri recipients, shared an audio on Twitter, reportedly recorded by Shivaay producer Kumar Mangat, in which Khan, a controversial figure on social media who is popularly known as KRK, is heard purportedly saying that Johar paid him Rs 25 lakh to tweet positive reviews about Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and trash Shivaay.
While Johar, when asked at Express Adda Friday about the allegation, said he would not “dignify” by responding to it, Khan refuted Devgn’s charge, saying the actor was shooting from his shoulder. Putting the blame on Kumar Mangat and Devgn, Khan tweeted, “Kumar+Ajay offered me money to bash #AeDilHaiMushkil as he is offering in the tape also but I refused. I told them that I will do it free.”
Devgn, meanwhile, has demanded an investigation into the issue. “It is very sad that people from our own industry are supporting such elements and spoiling the ethos of industry. I would strongly demand that this be thoroughly investigated by competent authorities to clarify if Karan Johar was indeed involved in this,” he said in statement.
On Friday, Johar, 44, who was the guest at the Express Adda in Mumbai, said, “My self-respect, reputation and (the) company’s reputation, and my upbringing, don’t allow me to dignify this question with an answer.”