Filmmaker Karan Johar on Friday said that he did not personally know two people being probed in a widening investigation into drug abuse allegations in Bollywood, refuting media reports that described them as his “aides”.
“Several media/news channels have been airing news reports that Kshitij Prasad and Anubhav Chopra are my ‘aides’/’close aides’. I would like to place on record that I do not know these individuals personally and neither of these two individuals are ‘aides’ or ‘close aides’,” he said in a statement.
The producer-director said that Anubhav Chopra was not an employee at his company Dharma Productions though he had worked on two projects with the company in an independent capacity between 2011 and 2013.
Kshitij Ravi Prasad joined Dharmatic Entertainment, a company linked to Dharma Productions, in November 2019 as one of the executive producers on contract basis for a project which eventually did not materialise, he said.
“Neither l, nor Dharma Productions can be made responsible for what people do in their personal lives. These allegations do not pertain to Dharma Productions,” Karan Johar said.
The filmmaker, who has been the target of harassment and abuse by a section of social media users and TV channels since the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June, lashed out at the “malicious campaign” that began with accusations of encouraging nepotism and later spiralled into allegations of rampant drug abuse.
He rubbished reports that suggested drugs were consumed at a party he hosted at his home last year in July and said, “These slanderous and malicious statements, news articles and news clippings have unnecessarily subjected me, my family, and my colleagues, and Dharma Productions, to hatred, contempt and ridicule.”
“I would like to unequivocally once again state that I do not consume narcotics and I do not promote or encourage consumption of any such substance,” he said.
“In the past few days, the media has resorted to distasteful, distorted and false allegations. I hope the members of the media would exercise restraint else I will be left with no option but to legally protect my rights against this baseless attack on me,” Mr Johar added.
Kshitij Ravi Prasad and Anubhav Chopra are among the growing list of members of the Hindi film industry in Mumbai who have come under the lens of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) for alleged drug abuse that has also called top actors like Deepika Padukone for questioning.
The allegations emerged following the investigation into the death of Sushant Singh Rajput that uncovered charges of drug abuse by him and led to the arrest of several of his associates including girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, also an actor, for allegedly helping him score contraband.