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Sanjay Dutt threatens to sue Juggernaut Books, author Yasser Usman over 'unauthorised' book

The publisher issued a statement saying its sources are credible and it would refrain from putting out any excerpts.

Mayur Lookhar

On 20 March, publisher Juggernaut Books had released an excerpt from the book, Sanjay Dutt: The Crazy Untold Story of Bollywood’s Bad Boy. The excerpt was about Sanjay's reunion with his father, late Sunil Dutt, in Rajkumar Hirani’s Munnabhai M.B.B.S (2003). Later in the evening, Sanjay put out a tweet threatening to sue Juggernaut Books and author Yasser Usman, saying he had not authorised them to write any book on his life.

“I have not authorised either Juggernaut Publications or Yasser Usman to write/publish my biography. Our lawyers had sent them a legal notice, in response to which Juggernaut Publications said that the contents of the book are based on information available in public domain from authentic sources. However, from the excerpts that are appearing in the newspaper are partly based on my old interviews but rest all seemed to be based on hearsay, 1990s tabloids and gossip magazines, most of which are figments of imagination and not true. I have consulted with my legal team on the next course of action [sic],” tweeted Sanjay.

Today, Juggernaut Books posted a statement on Twitter wherein they apologised to Sanjay, but claimed that the information that they published in the book has been put out by leading periodicals earlier, were uncontested and from credible sources. The publishing house, though, stated that it will no longer put out any excerpts.

When we reached out to Usman, he refused to comment on the matter.

“We are sorry to hear that Mr. Sanjay Dutt was upset by our book on him. The author, Yasser Usman, an award winning journalist and reputed writer on Bollywood actors, is a fan and very sympathetic to Mr. Dutt. Yasser has chosen his sources and materials with care. He had relied extensively on direct quotes from Mr. Dutt, his close associates such as Mr. Mahesh Bhatt, and members of the Dutt family. Additionally, Yasser has referred to stories already in the public record for many years that were uncontested and widely reported. These stories that have appeared in leading periodicals have relied on accounts of credible and authoritative sources, people who have either worked closely with or been associated in various capacities with Mr. Dutt. The book has been painstakingly footnoted, and the sources the book has relied upon have been clearly mentioned [sic],” tweeted Juggernaut Books.

“Moreover, as has been said in most of Yasser’s interviews and pieces in the press, he is a huge admirer of Mr. Dutt’s honesty and lack of pretence and believes these qualities meaningfully set him apart from rest of the film industry. The book is a homage to those admirable and rare traits of honesty and frankness.

However, to pay respect to Mr. Dutt’s wishes, we won't put out any more extracts from the book in short-form media,” added the publishing house.