A recorded phone call between KRK and Ajay Devgn's associate was released on Thursday. In it, KRK claims he is being paid Rs 25 lakhs to tweet about KJo's Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, which clashes with Ajay's Shivaay. He later said he made this up.
Hear what self proclaimed no. 1 critic and trade analyst Kamaal R Khan has to say. https://t.co/wRc7moSlsZ- Ajay Devgn (@ajaydevgn) September 1, 2016
On Friday evening, Ajay Devgn, 47, released this statement: "We have only made you aware of what KRK has said. KRK is contradicting himself in explanations about what he has said in the recording and what we all have just heard in his postured press conference. He has not denied that it was his voice in the recording and he is now making excuses and contradicting himself. Where is the sanity here? You have heard what I have heard. It is upto you all to decide. It's his word against his own word. I have never in my life spoken to nor met this man."
KRK's press conference took the war into Ajay's territory. "He doesn't want to target Karan Johar directly and is shooting from my shoulder," KRK said.
He insisted, as he had in a tweet on Thursday, that he isn't actually being paid by KJo. "Karan Johar has never offered me money. Kumar Mangat was putting pressure on me and he is a friend. I needed an excuse (to fob him off). Later in the conversation I have said I don't want money," he said.
KRK also attacked Ajay for accusing Yash Raj Films of keeping his film out of cinemas when his Son Of Sardaar clashed with Jab Tak Hai Jaan in 2012, a month after Yash Chopra died. "Ajay Devgn doesn't have an emotional connection with the film industry, it's all about money. Yash Chopra had passed away, entire industry asked him to change his dates for Son Of Sardaar and he didn't," said KRK.
Karan Johar, the third party in this plot twist like no other, has wisely chosen to not respond. A source told NDTV that he would not be dignifying the matter with a comment.
But Kajol, Ajay Devgn's wife and once considered a good luck charm by KJo, has commented. In a tweet, she publicly aligned herself against her Kuch Kuch Hota Hai director:
Shocked https://t.co/0hDvRqUzMc- Kajol (@KajolAtUN) September 1, 2016
Shivaay is a purely Ajay Devgn show - he stars, directs and produces. Polish actress Erika Kaar and Saira Banu's grandniece Sayyeshaa Saigal make their debuts. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil stars a glittering cast of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Fawad Khan. Both films are scheduled for Diwali.
Kamaal R Khan, who Ajay appears to have credited with a greater degree of legitimacy and agency than he actually possesses, has promised - or threatened - to review both film.