Style actor Sahil Khan alleges one of the two Khans – Salman and Shah Rukh – had him dropped from films

Mumbai: Actor Sahil Khan, best known for starring in 2001 movie Style, shared a Stardust magazine cover, also featuring Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan, and alleged that one of the two superstars “felt bad (buda laga)” to have shared the cover with a newcomer. Sahil Khan, who is now a fitness entrepreneur, recounted his experience of being a Bollywood newbie almost a decade earlier, alleging he was looked down upon by the one particular “superstar”, who he didn’t name. Sahil Khan wrote that it’s rare that a debutant actor would get to feature on a top entertainment magazine cover with two Bollywood biggies and when he made that possible, he left one of the Khans upset: “Bohut kam logon ke saath zindagi main aesa hota hai ke apni 1st film – Style – ke bad India ke sabse top film magazine ke cover par, do India ke sab se bade superstar ke saath ho. Magar unme se ek superstar ko bohut bura laga (It happens with very few in life that after his/her first film, the actor gets to be on the cover of a top film magazine with two of India’s biggest superstars. But one of them took offence).”
Sahil Khan alleged that he lost several projects because of the Khan, whose fan he was, and who, he alleged, had him ousted from films while also offering him “side roles” and TV spots: “Jab ke main to naya tha, unka fan tha, kamzor tha. Phir bhi woh mujhe kai baar side role ke liye bulate rahe, tv show ke liye bhi bulate rahe – aur phir kai films se mujhe nikalwa diya (When I was a newbie, I was his fan, I was weak. But still he used to call me repeatedly for side roles, used to call me for TV shows, and even took me off a several films.”
Sahil Khan left it to his reader to guess whether the superstar in question was Salman or Shah Rukh – and for many, the guess has been an easy one. Allegations and rumours that Bollywood’s most powerful conspired to shut out actors not from one of the film dynasties or inside circles have flooded the Internet after Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. Among the names being named is that of Salman Khan; the actor has also been accused by his Dabangg director Abhinav Kashyap of having “sabotaged” his 2013 film Besharam and subsequent career. In response, Salman’s brother Arbaaz Khan has said the family will take legal action.
In his post, Sahil Khan wrote that Sushant Singh Rajput’s death ‘exposed’ the unnamed superstar: “Sushant ne unka suchha asli chehra dikha diya (Sushant exposed him).”
Sahil Khan also made a point about nepotism, one of the charges levelled against Bollywood insiders, citing John Abraham’s career graph as the exception that proves the rule: “20 saal main John Abraham ke ilawa koi nahi aya industry main bada star coz koi ane hi nahi deta; only star sons ko hi kaam milta hai – think about it.”
Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead at his Mumbai residence on Sunday. The police say that the actor died by suicide – an investigation is underway and will also probe into allegations that the actor was suffering from depression because of professional rivalry. Politician Sanjay Nirupam alleged that the actor lost six out of seven films, which he had signed after Chhichhore last year. Sushant’s only upcoming film is Dil Bechara, which was postponed indefinitely because of the lockdown.
After Sushant’s death, members of the film fraternity, celebs such as Ranvir Shorey, Nikhil Dwivedi, Anubhav Sinha, Shekhar Kapur and Raveena Tandon, wrote about “mean girls” and “the Bollywood Privilege Club” in their posts but omitted names. Filmmaker Karan Johar, who said he blamed himself for not staying in touch with Sushant over the past year, was censured online for alleged double standards. Only recently, an excerpt from actor Ayushmann Khurrana’s 2015 book went crazy viral on the Internet, in which he revealed Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions once told him: “We only work with stars.”