Ajay Devgn

Ajay Devgn (left) and Kamaal Rashid Khan (IANS photos)

MUMBAI — An audio has surfaced wherein Kamaal Rashid Khan, aka KRK, can be heard confessing that Karan Johar paid him to tweet against Ajay Devgn’s “Shivaay,” which releases on the same day as Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” during Diwali 2016.

Now, the box-office battle has taken an ugly turn. KRK has confessed in an audio tape that he had been paid Rs. 25 lakh by Johar to sabotage the “Shivaay” trailer. The controversial Khan had shocked everyone when he suddenly started posting negative tweets about the film.

When confronted, he confessed to having been paid by Johar to tweet against the Ajay Devgn directorial. Kumar Mangat Pathak, producer and Ajay Devgn’s business associate, recorded the full conversation.

In a press release especially on the issue, Devgn, after a tweet exposing Khan, stated: “I have been a part of the Indian film industry for the past 25 years and have been associated with over 100 films. My father was a professional action director, and I have an emotional connection with this industry. It therefore pains me to see that people like Kamaal R. Khan are holding the film industry to ransom by spreading negativity about films to extort money from producers.

“It is very sad that people from our own industry are supporting such elements and spoiling the ethos of the film industry. I would strongly demand that this be thoroughly investigated by competent authorities to clarify if Karan Johar was indeed involved in this.”

But, with people like KRK who are making quite a packet from YouTube, you never know which way they will turn. Ironically, the man was always baiting Johar for many years, and, for all we know, this allegation too is a continuation of that!

PTI adds from Mumbai Sept. 2: Khan has shot back at Devgn, who alleged he was paid by Johar to bash “Shivaay,” and said, in fact, it was Devgn who bribed him to criticize the Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil,” giving a u-turn to the controversy.

KRK, in his response, tweeted: “Let me clear it. Karan Johar has never paid me or asked me to bash #Shivaay, and you can hear it in the tape. I said 25 Lakhs to avoid Kumar.”

In another post, he put the blame on Pathak and the “Singham” star by writing: “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.”

Later he tweeted: “People thinking that I called Kumar Mangat but not true. Actually he is a close friend, and he only called me and he called me many times before also.”

While Johar has maintained silence on the matter, Devgn, 47, is already out with his statement, saying he “demands an investigation” whether the filmmaker had bribed KRK or not.”

His actress wife Kajol, who is close friends with Johar, has also reacted to the controversy. She re-tweeted the audio link shared by Devgn and wrote, “Shocked.”

The controversy has resulted in the trolling and bashing of Ajay Devgn-Kajol and Johar, respectively by each other’s fans. While the filmmaker’s followers are bashing the couple for being “insecure” about the box-office clash between the two films, Devgn’s fans are poking fun at Johar saying he is scared of “Shivaay.”

Both the parties have a lot riding on their respective movies. Devgn makes a comeback to direction with “Shivaay,” which he has often said is his most ambitious project yet, and even Johar has gone behind the lens with his Ranbir Kapoor-starrer after a gap of four years.

The movies will arrive this Diwali, Oct. 28.

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