Preity Zinta is a force to be reckoned with. The actress who is a perfect mix of beauty and brains – she graduated with degrees in English honours and criminal psychology, turns a year older today and we decided to celebrate it by talking about the time she took a stand for herself and testified in court against the underworld.
To give you a little background, during the filming of the Chori Chori Chupke Chupke (2001), Preity said in Mumbai court that she had been getting extortion calls from these gangsters asking for ₹50 lakh. Read on to know why she decided to go to court against them and what motivated her to not back down.
During an interaction with India Today at the India Today Conclave East 2018, Preity Zinta opened up about testifying against the underworld in court. The Koi… Mil Gaya actress said, “For the record, if I knew that everyone was going to back out, I also would have. It was a scary time in my life. I should have been protected. Whatever I said in court was on TV ten minutes later.”
For those wondering, Preity Zinta wasn’t the only actress receiving extortion calls from the underworld at that point. Besides her, celebrities such as Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Rakesh Roshan and Mahesh Manjrekar also allegedly received such calls but retracted their statements before appearing in court. Reports had it that Chori Chori Chupke Chupke producer Nazim Rizvi and financier Bharat Shah were backing the film with funding from underworld gangster Chhota Shakeel.
Continuing further, Preity Zinta stated that while everyone on the sets of Chori Chori Chupke Chupke was ‘paranoid,’ anticipating threat calls, she decided to deal with it her own way. The Kal Ho Naa Ho actress said she decided to stand up against the gangsters the moment they became abusive. She said, “I was fine till they were scaring me, but once they started abusing, I lost it. I can take stress, but not people abusing me. I learnt that if you get a call from +92, don’t pick up! Luckily I was famous. Had I not been, it would’ve been tough.”
On being asked how she still dared to testify in court while others backed out, the Veer-Zaara actress said, “I didn’t have a family, I didn’t have children.”
Talking about Preity Zinta’s personal life now, the actress tied the knot to Gene Goodenough – Senior Vice-president for Finance at NLine Energy, a US-based hydroelectric power company on February 29, 2016. In 2021, they became parents to twins, a boy and a girl, through surrogacy.
Kudos Preity for not letting anyone, even the underworld, bully you.
Happy Birthday, Keep rocking!