Mumbai, Jan. 10: In the Bollywood family, Salman Khan may be flexing the muscles, but it’s Preity Zinta who wears the pants.
In the court hearing the Bharat Shah case yesterday, the actress stuck to a statement she had made to police earlier that she had received a “pay up or else…” extortion call from the underworld while her male colleagues, like Shah Rukh Khan and Salman, were accused by police of changing the script.
“She is the only man in the film world,” said assistant commissioner of police Shankar S. Kamble, investigating officer in the case probing links between the film industry and the underworld.
Some may feel that a woman doesn’t need to be elevated to manhood to be congratulated, but the police have called Preity that to express their gratitude.
“Preity is the only one who stood by her statement when all the men, big stars like Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan, have turned their backs,” said Kamble.
Kamble said her statement made in-camera yesterday at the special court was significant.
Of the 57 witnesses questioned so far in the Bharat Shah case, 11 have turned hostile, all of them from Bollywood. The police have accused Shah, who financed the movie Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, in which Salman and Preity starred, of underworld links.
Says ad filmmaker Prahlad Kakkar: “Only she had the courage to tell the truth. Let’s face facts. The others can say that the police pressured them into recording the previous statements, but we all know the truth.”
Others from the industry admire Preity, but are defensive about the “hostile” witnesses.
“I admire Preity’s integrity and Preity is the only man in town makes an interesting headline,” said director Mahesh Bhatt.
“But we have to remember that she has only done what most people are supposed to do. And how do you know that the people who have turned ‘hostile’ are lying' Why should the media accept the police’s version'” he asks.