Saif Ali Khan found himself at the receiving end of negative publicity recently, when the American paper The New York Post reported that he had thrown attitude in a local bar after pack-up on Siddharth Anand's Tara Rum Pum.
The Chote Nawab is upset about the report and is even considering legal action against the paper.
Says Saif, "It's not true. The bar owner, Imtiaz, is Indian and insisted on buying me a drink. He took photos and asked me to come back as his guest anytime. He even asked me to come back for free drinks! I posed for pictures with him and his cousins."
There were reports that Saif had been thrown out of the bar. Saif rubbishes the reports. "It was all nice. I don't want to be written about as this brat, which I am not. These baseless rumours have repercussions. I have never behaved badly or been asked to leave any place anywhere. I am too classy for all that," he says saucily, in typical good humour.
But why would a newspaper write something like that? Says Saif, "I'm considering taking legal action against the paper. The article is slanderous and completely baseless."
Tara Rum Pum's line-producer from USA, Prashant Shah adds, "There are 700 films being shot in New York, but Tara Rum Pum is the biggest Bollywood film being shot here.
Somebody is trying to create mischief. They made it sound as if we were only partying there, whereas everybody is working really hard. The Madame X bar closes at midnight, so we couldn't have partied there the whole night. We were there till 9 pm."
Kya hua us raat?
So what happened that night? Says Prashant, "We were shooting in SoHo in downtown New York, and Madame X is very close to that.
Being good friends of ours, the owners asked us to come over for a drink. Imtiaz offered Saif a drink but he insisted on paying for it, saying Imtiaz is running a business. But Imtiaz insisted saying that Saif was a big celebrity and they don't allow celebs to pay."
The bartender of Madame X has been quoted in The New York Post. Says Prashant Shah, "He couldn't have said that as he was very happy with the handsome tip that Saif left him. Since Imtiaz wouldn't take money from him, Saif tipped the bartender generously. When we called up the Post and complained, they said it was an error."
Bad boy antics
According to the Page Six gossip column section written by Paula Froelich and Bill Hoffman, the New York Post wrote last week, "Bollywood bad boy Saif Ali Khan has brought his troublemaking act to the Big Apple, squabbling with his co-star during the shooting of his new film on the Lower East Side and irritating the staff at the Madame X lounge. Khan, the son of a famed cricket king and Indian screen siren, is facing charges of poaching an endangered deer in his native India and has a reputation for doing as he pleases.
He and the crew of his new film, Tara Rum Pum, have been shooting on Orchard Street by day and living it up by night. The other night, the hunky millionaire and some pals stopped in at Madame X on Houston Street.
A bartender there said Khan copped an attitude while throwing back shots of tequila and downing rum and cokes. 'He acted like he owns this joint,' said the barkeep."
The New York Post is owned by Australian-born billionaire Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.