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I Could Be Lying, Trust Only the Evidence: Hrithik Braves Arnab

Hrithik Roshan speaks to Arnab Goswami in a tell all interview about Kangana Ranaut. 

Updated
Bollywood
12 min read
Hrithik Roshan speaks to Arnab Goswami in a tell all interview about Kangana Ranaut. 

Arnab Goswami’s first question to Hrithik Roshan is something the nation really does want to know- “Why are you here on national television now Hrithik Roshan? You haven’t spoken in the last 3-4 years, so why now?”

Hrithik Roshan, who looks positively shaken up and uncomfortable sitting across Arnab Goswami in his newsroom, admits that it has taken him a great deal of courage to finally come out with his side of the story, simply because he believes that it is disgraceful to be put in a spot where one has to justify his/her actions.

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I’m not a victim. Nothing that happens in my life makes me think like that about myself. But I’m very very uncomfortable right now. I’m not confrontational by nature, have never had a fight in my life. Even my divorce was not a fight. There’s no grace in what I’m doing right now, testifying for my character, making myself sound right and by implication making someone else look wrong. I haven’t put forth my side of the story because I’ve been afraid that my words will be misconstrued. But now I have to do something about it.
Hrithik Roshan, Actor

Arnab Goswami senses the actor’s discomfort and thanks him for being upfront about feeling vulnerable on national television, something stars and politicians rarely ever do. But Hrithik admits that the Kangana Ranaut controversy has unfortunately had the power to jolt him out of his otherwise peaceful state of mind.

This is the only situation that has shifted my centre. I was advised to not talk in a worried state of mind. But one has to grow and realise that some things just need to be done. People are afraid to be vulnerable. I too was afraid but I’m not going to be anymore. I’ll allow the pieces to fall where they do. I would like to apologise if i’m hurting anybody’s sentiments.
Hrithik Roshan
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Through the course of the next two and a half hours, Arnab asked Hrithik repeatedly if he was ever in a relationship with Kangana Ranaut. Frankly, it wasn’t annoying only for the actor. But Mr Goswami very often turns into a judge or an investigator in matters where the question is about unveiling the truth.

One can’t help but wonder though, why his opinion, or that of the people of this country matter at all in this personal battle between Kangana Ranaut and Hrithik Roshan? No matter how hard Hrithik tries to not make this an ugly he-said-she-said affair, that’s what it really is. To make things worse, Arnab Goswami is still sitting in judgement. So he starts digging up the timeline to find loopholes in the actor’s story so far.

Hrithik Roshan and Kangana Ranaut in a scene from <i>Kites.</i>&nbsp;
Hrithik Roshan and Kangana Ranaut in a scene from Kites. 

Arnab Goswami: Did you and Kangana become good friends during the filming of Kites?

Hrithik Roshan: We didn’t become good friends. She was extremely professional. I was very proud of her. She came with enough preparation. She was giving that camera everything she had. Someone giving my film so much is the most I can ask for. I must’ve mentioned this a lot of times. She said she was inspired by me at the age of 8 or 9. I took that as a compliment. English was a problem for her and language had been a struggle for me too. We used to exchange these stories.

Arnab Goswami: Was there a relationship between you and Kangana?

Hrithik Roshan: No. Fact is stranger than fiction I guess.

Arnab Goswami: So nothing even remotely romantic? Because people believe that there is no smoke without fire Hrithik.

Hrithik Roshan: No. I wonder if my need to please my actors led her on in some way? I’m just wondering. Maybe sending a smiley face... and if she was doing something on a beach, she used to send that to me and I used to compliment her, so I don’t know if that has caused all of this? This was it, there was no relationship.

Arnab Goswami: Were you being complimentary or flirtatious?

Hrithik Roshan: I never flirted. Also, I found her to be a very shy person. We never got to a point where we had a proper conversation.

After this line of questioning, Goswami brought up the birthday parties they met at from 2011 till 2013.

I would invite and hug them all, they were my team. I’m a very proud person for my team. There are a 100 people who were invited for my sister’s or my father’s birthday celebrations. These were during the production of a film and when you’re having a celebration, you make sure you include your team, especially if you’re inviting a 100 other people.
Hrithik Roshan

The First Signs of Worry

I remember, it was the Jordan schedule wrap party. I was ready to retire for the night. Kangana requested for some advice on the way forward, what her next steps in the industry should be. I told her let’s chat in the morning and I went to my room. I ordered for room service, the knock was too loud so I peeped through the hole. Up until now everything was great. But I saw her outside the door and I didn’t think she was in the right state to be let in. I called my assistant to call her sister to come and take her back to her room. Rangoli spoke to me about it the next day and said that I’m really sorry, she’s a good girl, she doesn’t usually do this. I said it’s no big deal, I’m not judging her. I never intended to speak about this, but unfortunately, I am now. Then there was no conversation between us till 2013. I had forgotten all about it.
Hrithik Roshan
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The Nation Has a Hard Time Believing This

Arnab Goswami seems to have made up his mind already and tells Hrithik in so many words that ignoring her behaviour, incessant emails, rumours about the Paris proposal was foolishness. Hrithik agrees. As Arnab starts an aggressive line of questioning about his travels to Europe in 2013-2014, the photoshopped picture of him holding her intimately at Karan Johar’s birthday party etc and then corners him with a sharp one-

Arnab Goswami: Why didn’t you speak to the media at the time and tell your story Hrithik? Wasn’t that foolish of you?

Hrithik Roshan: I didn’t give interviews because it’s disgraceful. It was a hostile environment. Who would give me a platform? Anything I did was used against me. I wanted to talk so badly, I’ve written 20 blogs. I shared with some friends and they said you just can’t do this, you’re a huge star. But what does being a star have to do with the human being that I am?

Hrithik goes on to clarify that he didn’t talk about it then because the rumours were coming out as stories in third person, which Kangana too could have denied at any given point. His name was never taken directly, up until the “silly-ex” comment.

At Karan Johar’s patry, Hrithik reveals that he congratulated her for Queen and she was taken aback by the fact that he hadn’t watched it, even though she claims she got an email from him praising her performance. That’s when the notion of an imposter being involved surfaced for the very first time. But to Hrithik’s surprise, he woke up to a string of abusive messages in Hindi from Kangana for acting like that the night before.

On 25th May 2014, the day after Karan Johar’s birthday party, I woke up to abusive messages in Hindi from Kangana. There was no sentence, just abuses. I thought someone got her phone and is playing a prank. I never imagined she or her sister could write that. Then there was a mail from Rangoli accusing me of hacking into her account and sharing some explicit videos and images. I was completely disoriented.
Hrithik Roshan
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Kangana and Hrithik at a film promotion.&nbsp;
Kangana and Hrithik at a film promotion. 
(Photo courtesy: Twitter)

The Imposter Theory

I’m open to any and every kind of investigation. It was Rangoli who suggested that we track the imposter, if there is one. But with them, it’s an attack then ‘it’s ok sir’, then an attack again, then a ‘sorry’. I was so confused int his mind game.
Hrithik Roshan

The Moment of Complete Shut Down

When I was blamed me for emotionally and psychologically raping her, that’s when I shut down. I told myself that I’ve done my bit as a friend and a professional, now I will not engage with any of it. I passed on every possible solution to them. Then I hear ‘rape’ and that was it for me. There are a lot of things we deal with on a daily basis, I wasn’t going to take this on additionally. I chose not to get involved.
Hrithik Roshan
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Hrithik Didn’t Know How to Block Kangana’s Emails

This sounds a bit strange but the actor said that he didn’t know of a way to block Kangana’s emails and could only put them in junk or spam folders. Arnab was taken aback by this and he asks him his next pointed question-

Arnab Goswami: Why didn’t you send her a clear email after the numerous she sent, saying that you don’t wish to communicate with her and that she should stop writing to you? Why didn’t you block her?

Hrithik Roshan: If I sent you an email, how would you stop me? There was no blocking option. What are people talking about? I spammed and junked it. I read about 40-50 of those email. I got almost 3000. Till then it was restricted to my laptop, I could handle it. But in 2016 she called me a “silly-ex” in public and that was it.

Arnab Goswami: So why didn’t you speak up then?

Hrithik Roshan: Sometimes ignorance is the best way to dissuade actions like this. This wasn’t the first time I’ve received obsessive emails. I’ve learnt in my past that my non reaction to something like this will discourage it. I haven’t been passive, I’ve been troubled, have spoken to friends, asked for help. But I was advised not to address it and give it more power.

Arnab Goswami: Why didn’t you file a police complaint earlier?

Hrithik Roshan: It would have gone public, it would have named everyone involved. I had my own problems back then. I didn’t want this. By the way, while these mails were coming I was a single man, from 2014-16. I could have replied, I could have invited her over. Thank god I didn’t. If I had made even one phone call or sent a single message, I wouldn’t have been able to defend myself.

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Who Stopped Hrithik From Talking to Kangana?

Arnab Goswami: Why was it not your higher purpose to have a conversation with her directly?

Hrithik Roshan: I spoke to Javed Ahmed, the Commissionerof Police at the time. I told him that I want to meet this girl, with her sister and parents, and simply want to ask them all if they knew what’s happening. He said that that’s not an intelligent thing to do. ‘You don’t know how this person will tell the story to the world’. I even called Sajid Nadiadwala, I requested for some time with her on his set, I said I will send my manager to meet Rangoli and her sister too. I was told very strictly not to call directly. I don’t know the mechanism of law, or the media. I’m very media shy person and I have to rely on their advice. So I did.

Arnab Goswami: How can an actor be media shy?

Hrithik Roshan: I’ve been shy because of my own shortcomings, I have to change that now.

He Thought Kangana Was Innocent

There’s no point in judging or accusing. The focus now should be on a solution, learning something from this about cyber crime. No longer will thieves enter through your door. They’ll come through thin air and create havoc in your bedroom. All this time I was still blaming the impostor. Rangoli’s mails say that she’s been communicating with some guy on an email ID that is not mine. Then she sends emails to my right email ID. I think she’s extending her relationship. I think she’s innocent. Unfortunately it was one of the primary thoughts in my mind. When I went to cyber crime, the complaint was against the impostor, she was only a witness. I have tried to analyse this in a million ways. I don’t know what the truth is.
Hrithik Roshan
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The Photoshopped Truth

Hrithik’s version of the ‘photoshopped truth’.&nbsp;
Hrithik’s version of the ‘photoshopped truth’. 
(Photo courtesy: Twitter)

The photoshopped image of Hrithik holding Kangana intimately, was a total lie according to him.

When this picture came out it was exposed the very next day by everyone present at the party. We were doing something that was fun then. It was an enactment of old hindi film posters.
Hrithik Roshan

Feeling Weak and Vulnerable

I was rattled because there was an incessant need to prove myself and I felt that was such a weak feeling. That was desperate, it’s not strength. People, for no fault of theirs have judged me. But I’m not a victim. I’ve learnt how to walk my truth. iIf people are going to make this into an oratory battle, I’m not good at that. All we have to see is truth versus the lies. I’m not here to make allegations and blame someone. I just need to defend myself.
Hrithik Roshan
I will be aggressive in this fight now. I’m first a human being and I’m not going to be shy or apologetic for my emotions. Every single person is afraid of their vulnerabilities. People told me so confidently, that this is good for me because it’s going to give me a bit of a bad boy image. Or that ‘you’re a star.’ But there is a difference. The human being that I was made me realise that I’m a human being who is an actor. Superstardom is an illusion. But what is my truth? 
Hrithik Roshan
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Kangana Ranaut and Hrithik Roshan in a scene from <i>Krrish 3.</i>
Kangana Ranaut and Hrithik Roshan in a scene from Krrish 3.

Hrithik Reacts to Kangana’s ‘Silly Ex’ Remark

Her ‘silly-ex’ comment was the first time it went public. I can deal with what’s in my inbox. Then people around me started talking. I got desperate. I didn’t feel strong but I said let them judge me. She made me the small minded boyfriend. I tried to speak to people who knew her. Nothing was working and by looking at this my instinct said that this is going to explode one day.
Hrithik Roshan

Arnab steps in to say that the reason why he rarely interviews film celebrities is because they know very well how to hide behind a mask and they never talk about their weaknesses.

The India TV Interview

Kangana put her side of the story rather convincingly in her recent interview with Rajat Sharma. But who’s truth will hold up in front of the people? And how did Hrithik react when he watched that interview?

I told myself I’m not going to get affected. I was amused. But then I got worried. She was so convincing. I even had a word with Dr Harish Shetty, who said that it is possible for a person to come across as convincing even when they’re lying. I had no reaction to this at all.
Hrithik Roshan
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Hrithik’s Message for Kangana

Arnab asks the pertinent question - “What if Kangana becomes more aggressive? What would you like to say to her, if she’s watching this interview?”

I think if I do get a chance to speak with her I will tell her what my thoughts are, but not here. This is national TV. I’m not here to fight. For once I wanted to say my truth and that’s it. What else can I do? I never want to be in a he-said-she-said situation, it’s disgraceful. I’ve been prodded on to give you a narrative. But do not trust me, just go by the evidences. If people believe me, great! If they don’t, great! I know where my journey will lead me. I will manifest what I am exactly about. 
Hrithik Roshan
They called me a superstar, then a megalomaniac, then they’ll call me a victim... I have to know what I am. This had the power to turn me into a very cynical, bitter man, but I knew in my heart that I can’t afford that. I can’t teach my children the beauty of life like this.
Hrithik Roshan

Arnab’s mission to unearth the truth in the Kangana-Hrithik saga finally comes to an end with a confession, but one that viewers would hardly agree with. He tells Hrithik that rarely does he hold back from passing judgement, but in this interview, he won’t.

Dear Mr Goswami, there was hardly a single question in this interview that didn’t judgemental. But the bigger problem is the controversy itself. When will Hrithik and Kangana take their battle to a place where their truth matters, rather than in public, where it never belonged?

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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