Throwback: Mahira Khan-Ranbir Kapoor’s ‘smoking photo’ controversy

Mumbai: Pakistani diva Mahira Khan rose to fame in India with her Bollywood debut movie Raees opposite superstar Shah Rukh Khan which was released in 2017. She wooed audiences with her amazing performance in the movie which was appreciated by all. Apart from her debut film, Mahira grabbed headlines for a viral picture with actor Ranbir Kapoor that took internet by storm.

Post Raees release, there were rumours that Ranbir Kapoor and Mahira Khan are head-over-heels in love with each other. The speculations began floating around after the duo were clicked together at the Global Teacher Prize event is Dubai. To add fuel to the fire, the couple was photographed bonding over smoking in NYC. The pictures which had spread like a wildfire on social media saw Mahira in a backless white dress, while Ranbir was wearing a beige tee.

However, the picture did not go well with a section of fans who started trolling the Pakistani beauty. Ranbir stood up for Mahira when she received hate, and said in a statement, “I’ve gotten to know Mahira in a personal capacity over the last few months. She is somebody who I admire and respect, for her achievements and even more for the person she is.It is very unfair the way she is being judged and spoken about. What is also sad is the inequality in judgment just because she is a woman.”

Mahira Khan also spoke about the controversy in one of the television chat show and said that it was “crazy” and “ridiculous” that her pictures with Ranbir had become a topic of national interest. “That was the first time in my entire career that I was caught up in a so-called controversy and it was strange because there were so many things in that. One, obviously you feel violated, you are in a personal downtime moment and someone has just photographed you.”

She further added, “Two, obviously there was an uproar because here I was, someone who is extremely loved in Pakistan, and they sort of keep me up on this pedestal you know, they treat me with a lot of love and a lot of respect. And there are certain things I didn’t realise that they don’t want to see me do.”

Meanwhile, Ranbir Kapoor is currently dating his Brahmastra co-star Alia Bhatt. On the other hand, Mahira Khan was married to Ali Askari but they got divorced in 2015. She is a single mother to their 11-year-old son, Azlan.