Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Preity Zinta claims being harassed in Mumbai: I’m a human being first, then a mom and then a celebrity

Bollywood actor and Kings XI Punjab team owner Preity Zinta

Bollywood actor and Kings XI Punjab team owner Preity Zinta
| Photo Credit: Aijaz Rahi

Actor-entrepreneur Preity Zinta has opened up about allegedly facing harassment on two separate occasions during her recent visit to the city, saying the incidents have left her a “bit shaken”.

In a lengthy post on Instagram, Zinta wrote that a woman tried to take a photograph with her toddler Gia, but when the actor “politely” refused, the lady “suddenly scooped my daughter in her arms & planted a big wet kiss next to her mouth & ran off saying what a cute baby.”

“This woman lives in an elite building & happened to be in the garden where my kids were playing. If I wasn’t a celebrity I probably would have reacted badly but kept my cool as I didn’t want to make a scene,” the actor, who shares twins Gia and Jai with husband Gene Goodenough, said.

Detailing the second incident, the co-owner of the IPL team Kings XI Punjab said she was rushing to the airport when a disabled man started getting “aggressive” as she couldn’t offer him money due to lack of cash at the time. “I had a plane to catch & this disabled man kept trying to stop me.Over the years he has harassed me for money & I have given it to him when I could.This time when he asked for money I said sorry today I have no cash, just a credit card.

“The lady with me gave him some money from her purse. He threw it back at her cuz it wasn’t enough & started getting aggressive,” she wrote alongside a video of the disabled man following her car.

The actor, based out of Los Angeles, is currently in India to attend the ongoing IPL 2023 tournament.

Zinta, known for starring in movies such as Dil Se.., Soldier, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Koi… Mil Gaya, Veer-Zaara, and Lakshya among others, said it’s high time people realised that celebrities are “human beings” first.

“I’m a human being first, then a mom & then a celebrity. I also don’t need to apologise for my success constantly & be bullied for it cuz I’ve worked very hard to get where I am.

“I have an equal right like anyone else in this country to live the way I want so please think before you judge & please stop blaming celebrities for everything. There are always 2 sides to a story,” she wrote, adding that her children are “not part of a package deal & are not meant to be preyed on.”

“They are infants & need to be treated like infants, not celebrities.”

Zinta also called out the paparazzi for laughing over the situation instead of helping her.

“The photographers found this incident funny. Instead of helping us they filmed & laughed. NO ONE told him not to follow the car or harass us as anyone could have gotten hurt. Had there been an accident, I would have been blamed. My being a celebrity would have been questioned. Bollywood would have been blamed & a lot of negativity would have spread.” She hopes the photographers that “ask us for photos, videos & sound bytes also have the grace, humanity & maturity to act & help in the future instead of filming & laughing cuz most of the time it’s not funny.”

Zinta found support from her film industry colleagues. While Hrithik Roshan lauded her for voicing her concerns, Arjun Rampal asked her to give him a “call” whenever she is in any difficult situation in future. Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Malaika Arora and Lilly Singh also praised the actor for taking a stand.

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