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Karan Johar slams news channels for ‘distasteful’, ‘distorted’, ‘false' drug allegations

The filmmaker warned of legal consequences if the media continued to drag his name into the alleged drug racket in the film industry.

Our Correspondent

Since the beginning of the week, some television news channels have been trying to drag the names of filmmaker Karan Johar and his banner Dharma Productions into the investigation by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of alleged drug use in the film in dustry.

The NCB began its investigation after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing the death, purportedly by suicide, of actor Sushant Singh Rajput claimed to have found a drugs angle in the case.

In July last year, a video had surfaced from a party hosted by Karan Johar and attended by some top stars who were alleged to have been intoxicated. The video had gone viral on social media with the claim that the celebrities had been consuming drugs. The video resurfaced after Sushant Singh Rajput's death with the same allegation.

Karan Johar has now explained his stand and rubbished the claims that he or his company were involved in the drug racket. In an official statement, Johar said, “Certain news channels, print/electronic media and social media platform(s) are wrongly and misleadingly reporting that narcotics were consumed at a party that I, Karan Johar, hosted on 28 July 2019 at my residence. I had already clarified my position way back in 2019 that the allegations were false.

“In view of the current malicious campaign, I am reiterating that the allegations are completely baseless and false. No narcotic substance was consumed in the party. I would like to unequivocally state once again that I do not consume narcotics and I do not promote or encourage consumption of any such substance. All 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.”

A section of the television news channels have been reporting that Kshitij Prasad and Anubhav Chopra, who were recently questioned by the NCB, are Johar’s aides. Kshitij Prasad was later arrested.

Reacting to these claims, Johar said, “I would like to place on record that I do not know these individuals personally and neither are these two individuals ‘aides’ or ‘close aides’. Neither I nor Dharma Productions can be made responsible for what people do in their personal lives. These allegations do not pertain to Dharma Productions.”

About the claim that Chopra works with Dharma, Johar said, “Mr Anubhav Chopra is not an employee at Dharma Productions. He was briefly associated with us for two months in the capacity of second assistant director for a film between November 2011 and January 2012 and as assistant director for a short film in January 2013. He has thereafter never been associated with Dharma Productions for any other project.”

About Kshitij Prasad’s alleged role in Dharma Productions, the filmmaker said, “Mr Kshitij Ravi Prasad joined Dharmatic Entertainment (sister concern of Dharma Productions) in November 2019 as one of the executive producers on contract basis for a project which eventually did not materialize.”

Johar also warned of legal repercussions if the media continued to drag his or his company's name into the alleged drug racket. “In the past few days, the media has resorted to distasteful, distorted and false allegations," the filmmaker and television chat-show host said. "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.”