“First of all, I am not a victim,” he began. “I don’t think there is anything in my life that will make me think that way about myself.”
“I know, and I have always known, that whatever I say can and will be used against me,” he continued, “and I have to be honest that I am very, very uncomfortable right now.”
“I am not a confrontational person. I have never had a fight in my life - neither with a man nor a girl. Even in my divorce, there was no fight,” he said. “I know that there is absolutely no grace in what I am doing right now. There is no grace in sitting here and testifying for my character and making myself sound right and good and true, and by implication, making someone else seem wrong.”
“I was also very afraid. I’m afraid that my words would be misconstrued. If I come across as strong they might term me as aggressive, if I show emotion they might term me as weak, if I show that I am vulnerable, they say ‘he’s looking for sympathy,’” he continued.
“If I’m walking down the street and if a person abuses me, the dignified thing to do is to keep walking, but if that person starts throwing stones into my home, and affects the well being of me and my family, then that silence is no longer strength, that silence becomes weakness,” he said.
“It’s been four years, and I’ve had enough.”
Hrithik and Kangana’s fight started in January 2016, when she referred to him as her ‘silly ex’, which did not set too well with him. Hrithik retaliated in a tweet, and the two have since then exchanged several legal notices, even more open letters, disclosed intimate details about their alleged affair, and taken the fight to another level.
“I’ve had enough,” Hrithik continued, “I need to say what I want to say, but I have to keep live up to this star thing of mine. I have to be cool and not give any attention to something that is not important, but after a while I realised I was pretending. It was affecting me, it was affecting my community, it was affecting my sense of well being. That’s not being a hero, that’s being fake,” he said.
Arnab asked him what his snap out moment was. “I was advised to stop. I’m usually very stable, but in that state of mind, to come out and talk, was not advisable - not that I am totally comfortable right now - but one has to grow and realise that some things need to be done.”
Arnab then took the opportunity to say that several powerful politicians come on his show and pretend that they are comfortable, and he found Hrithik’s candour refreshing.
“I was afraid, and now I am not going to be afraid. I am going to allow my mind and my heart to say what it wants to say. If I hurt somebody’s sentiments, I’d like to apologise right now.”
The two met on the sets of 2010 film, Kites, and then worked together once again on 2013’s Krrish 3. It was around that time, Kangana alleges, that the two were romantically involved with each other. Hrithik was married then, and has since separated from his wife, Sussanne Khan, who, by the way, has publicly stood by him during all this.
“I first met her in 2008-2009,” said Hrithik. Asked about one of Kangana’s leaked emails, in which she called him a ‘close friend’. Hrithik denied this. “We did not become good friends,” he said, “I found her to be extremely, extremely professional, not just in Kites, but through Krrish as well, to the extent that I was really, really proud of her. She came with her dialogues, and she was giving everything she had for my movies, and for an actor to give so much to my movies meant a lot. I was extremely proud of her, and I told her that several times.”
“She said that she was inspired by me after seeing me in a film in Manali. I took that as a compliment,” he said.
In recent months, while promoting her film Simran, Kangana spoke at length, and to multiple outlets, about what really happened. Her biggest complaint is that the Roshans used their power and influence to paint her in a negative light, going so far as to suggest that she is mentally unstable. Hrithik meanwhile, maintains that Kangana was in correspondence with an imposter.
“What about all those birthday parties you attended,” asked Arnab. There were several images of the two being shared online, which Hrithik says are doctored, but Kangana sees as valuable leads in her case.
“There were hundreds of people at those parties, and they were always around some movie,” Hrithik responded. “You have a celebration, a birthday or whatever, and you’re calling more than a hundred people, and you make sure you include all your team.”
“Was there anything at any time where you began to get worried, that you saw something from her side or in her behaviour that made you think twice?” asked Arnab.
“We were at a wrap party in Jordan, and I was ready to retire for the night, and she wanted to talk, and I was very, very tired, so I told her we should talk in the morning,” he said. “I ordered for room service, and there was a loud knock on my door, so I went to check - this was 2012, and everyone was really happy - and it was her through the keyhole.”
“She didn’t appear to be in the right state. It was a party so you’ve had a few drinks, so I called my assistant, and he came down to her room and asked her sister to come get her.
“Did you speak to anyone about it,” asked Arnab.
“Rangoli (Kangana’s sister) came and told me not to think badly of her, and that she is a good girl,” Hrithik said, “and I said of course, I’m not for a moment judging her.”
A year passed until they met again, but Hrithik said this time, he was wary. He was more careful about not letting her get too close. “I don’t judge the behaviour, but I would not do that, my instinct said be nice.”
Arnab then mentioned that rumours linking them together began in 2013, but Hrithik said what he had already said in his statement. “I have not met her one on one in my life.”
What about when she said that you proposed marriage to her in 2014, Arnab asked.
“When I heard that I was relieved, because I thought we this is a lie that can be demolished,” Hrithik said. “Then came the photoshopped pictures. But no one saw the truth.”
“Why didn’t you give an interview then,” asked Arnab. “Because it’s disgraceful. Everything I said, would be used against me. Even this interview right now, could be used against me,” Hrithik said. “My friends told me I couldn’t do that. I was a star, and I don’t understand what being a star has anything to do with this.
Arnab then switched the discussion to the alleged mails between the two that were leaked by Republic and Rangoli.
“She promises you a secret relationship, and then she said that she would like to go to Prague,” Arnab said. “These weren’t as explicit as the first mails,” Hrithik said. “You don’t have them,” he said, after Arnab made to look for papers. “They were explicit.”
“It started with ten then fifteen mails and I was afraid,” he said. “If I send you an email right now, how would you stop the email from entering your inbox?”
“I’ll block you,” Arnab countered.
“If you have a MacBook Pro, there is no option to block people. Believe me I hunted for this blocking option. You can only spam it or junk it, and I did that immediately,” he said. “I must have read 40-50 of them. There were about 3-4000.”
“All this time, the harassment was limited to my laptop, then she made it public. And that is when I got afraid.