The Padman (2018) producer issues apology to Vashu Bhagnani and other complainants but also feels sorry for letting Akshay Kumar down
By Mayur Lookhar
Never take your freedom for granted. No one can justify this better than film producer Prernaa Arora. Her 32 birthday on 8 December, 2018 turned into a hell, when the lady was arrested by Economic Offence Wing of Mumbai. Film producer and distributor Vashu Bhagnani had accused Arora of breach of their distribution deal, certain ancillary right. Bhagnani claimed Arora owed him Rs32 odd crore. Nine long months on, Arora walked free earlier this week after submitting the requisite bail money.
The Padman (2018) producer held a press conference in Mumbai on 27 September in Mumbai accepting blame for being naïve and ignorant in the way she conducted her business. She issued a public apology to Vashu Bhagnani and any one who felt hurt by her action, but also reminded that she never intended to hurt to trick anyone.
“It’s a new life, a new birth for me. I’ve come back alive. There was a point where the humiliation within myself ..(pauses). I didn’t deserve to be where I was. It took a lot of time to accept what had happened. There was a point where my system collapsed and may be I just want to die. The biggest pain was seeing my parents suffer,” Arora said in an emotional tone.
The Toilet – Ek Prem Katha (2017) producer put all her woes down to her shoddy paper work.
“I will take the onus of having laidback attitude, becoming too casual about my paperwork. 80 % of whatever happened, it happened because of [shoddy] paperwork where I literally left it to the employees. I was more a verbal person and trusted people blindly. I put faith in senior [producers] and signed the documents,” said Arora.
Things were going fine between KriArj and Pooja Entertainment, Bhagnani’s production company till Pari (2018), KriArj though entered into dispute with three subsequent films Kedarnath (2018), Batti Gul Meter Chalu (2018) and Fanney Khan (2018). KriArj opted out of Kedarnath surrendering their rights to director Abhishek Kapoor and RSVP. There was trouble with T-Series, too, over Batti Gul Meter Chalu and Fanney Khan but KriArj sorted their differences with T-Series. Bhagnani though was upset and he had dragged T-Series and KriArj to court claiming right over the film. The court in Mumbai and Delhi both had dismissed Bhagnani’s claim.
The aggrieved Bhaganai knocked on to the doors of Economic Offences Wings alleging that despite signing exclusive deals with his company, Arora had signed similar deals with other parties.
All through the many litigation, the role of Arora’s business associate Arjun N Kapoor has also been questioned. Kapoor though has been incommunicado from the time Arora was arrested. There was an FIR against him but why did he go absconding?
Arora said that she had no access to Kapoor or anyone. Arora didn’t comment on Kapoor’s role but she stated that she was relieved that no one else suffered like her.
But did he had a role to play in the kind of mess that you found yourself into?
“We were all working together. There was awareness. It was all a trap but I don’t want to comment much or accuse people. I’ve just come out of a big mess. I want to make friends and not rivals.,” affirmed Arora.
Arora was of the view that her long time spent in the judicial custody was also due to the fact that her innocent parents had no knowledge of the deal nor the documents.
Oen scribed even questioned whether Arora was in a personal relationship with Kapoor, but the Padman (2018) producer denied all such talk.
Apart from the financial disputes, what came as shocking though when citing sources, a Bombay Times report mentioned that Arora was found possessing multiple passport and pan cards. The lady though merely termed them as vicious rumours.
“It’s all completely false. When I was in the custody, there must be someone who spread such false information. I went overseas way back in 2006 when I was an assistant on Bhagam Bhaag (2006). I had travelled to the Paris fashion week last year but that was also sponsored by Christian Dior. I was representing Dior from India. All this talk of multiple passport is completely false. The court has my passport and in due time it will be proven false. The chargesheet is completely bogus” claimed Arora.
Arora though confessed to not paying heed to family, well-wishers. Apparently, super star Akshay Kumar, who’s done three films with KriArj Entertainment, did ask her to go slow but she fell prey to her big ambitions,
Arora acknowledged that she’s let people down most prominently super star Akshay Kumar. “I extremely ashamed that after a bright start, despite warning to do one good film at a time, but I’ve left him down. I want a second chance to get back my career and I will start afresh.” Arora declared.
The producer has promised to clear all dues, if any, of Bhagnani after checking her accounts.