Not Buying What You're Selling: An Open Letter to Hrithik Roshan

Subject: Not Buying What You're Selling: An Open Letter to Hrithik Roshan
Date: 29 Apr 2016

Dear Hrithik,

Although I'm of Indian ethnicity, I was born and raised in America, so today, I'm going to exercise my American right to free speech. I'm also going to exercise my human right to have and voice my opinion. Therefore, I want to make it very clear that the aforementioned statements are facts, but the rest of my letter will be composed of my opinions.

On January 28, 2016, Pinkvilla "wanted to find out more on why the casting of 'Aashiqui 3' fell through" and asked Kangana Ranaut if she was aware of the rumors about it. Kangana responded; you tweeted, and legal notices were sent from you to her and contrariwise. Ever since, new online articles, regarding the ongoing conflict between you two Bollywood actors, have been published daily. You and your team have prolifically disseminated statements in an attempt to discredit Kangana. Figuratively, however, it is impossible to "buy" anything that you have been "selling" to the public, so it is no surprise if you have literally lost endorsement deals over this.

Notably, you were the first one to use the word "affair" -- when you tweeted -- not "romance," "relationship," or "dated." Considering it was over two years after your divorce announcement, via Twitter, your diction (and connotation of an extramarital "affair") was surprising and attention-getting. It was only after you criminally threatened and blackmailed Kangana, in your leaked legal notice, that Kangana's friend gave an explosive interview, which revealed details of a clandestine affair gone awry; she even narrated some specifics of how and when you had proposed to Kangana in Paris. Your friend countered that the engagement story was an obvious lie because your passport did not show any evidence of you having traveled to Paris while Kangana was there; this assertion was misleading, though, because your friend wrongly assumed that the lack of a passport-stamp automatically signified the lack of a Paris visit. He and numerous Indian journalists exercised poor judgment by not doing any fact-checking before jumping to conclusions. In fact, people who travel to Paris "in transit," between two non-Schengen countries, do not get their passports checked or stamped at Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris's largest international airport. Therefore, anyone could fly from London to Paris to Mumbai, for example, without getting his passport checked or stamped in Paris. Your friend, along with the journalists who wrote articles insinuating that the proposal story had been "proven false," manufactured and mass-produced a dumb charade -- an unintelligent lie -- before the public. In fact, neither you nor Kangana have successfully proven whether the Paris proposal happened or not; also, some details of that story might have been inaccurately printed, just as the countless articles in which Kangana was misquoted as having said "silly ex," an inflammatory phrase that never actually came out of her mouth.

Unabashedly, you and your lawyer have relentlessly and falsely accused Kangana of delaying the case that would give you the chance to clear your name; what you have obfuscated, however, is that the only case that could help you clear your name is a (legal) defamation case, the one you yourself have neglected to initiate -- for the past 50-plus days -- since receiving Kangana's prompt response to your legal notice. You keep claiming that you favor "the legal route," but you have yet to go to a court of law or file a legal case against Kangana; instead, you only want certain cops, who have already acted illegally with Kangana (by sending her an illegal summons, etc.), to work with you and give you a "clean chit" just from checking laptops and phones. Therefore, how is it possible for the Indian public to buy what you are selling?

After all, in a similar American case, in which former President Bill Clinton had publicly stated that he had "never had sexual relations" with a young girl named Monica Lewinsky, Americans would not have accepted the monumentally dumb charade that all the evidence could be gleaned solely from their laptops, phones, and emails (technologies which, by the way, did exist back then); ultimately, it was Monica's stained dress that provided the most conclusive evidence that Bill Clinton had lied. He had indeed had an extramarital affair with Monica, and Bill Clinton ended up publicly apologizing before all of America and the world for his lies.

If you truly want "a clean chit," have "nothing to hide," favor "the legal route," and "just want the truth to come out," and these remarks are not further dumb charades, you could prove it by finally initiating legal proceedings in a defamation case against Kangana. Alternatively, you could make just one on-record statement, so Kangana -- who supposedly "said she suffers from Asperger's Syndrome" and believes in "imaginary friends" -- could initiate a defamation case against you; for example, you could write, tweet, or go on-camera and clearly state, "Kangana Ranaut and I have never been in Paris, France, at the same time. She merely imagined us being there together." Finally, the public would have heard your first clear, on-record statement, on this matter, without all the interjections from anonymous "friends" or "teams." Also, making this comment about Paris would be most practical because then you would only have to deal with the trips that Kangana has made to Paris from 2013 to the present; as long as both of you provided indisputable proof of where you were on those days, the truth would definitely come out, and everyone would achieve closure. Until you can legitimately prove your case in a court of law, the public has no reason to buy what you are selling, so what are you waiting for?

That's the main message that I wanted to convey to you, but I would be lying if I said that I didn't have any additional burning questions and comments for you; here are some of them:

1) Initially, all I got from Kangana’s Pinkvilla response was that, to her, it was obvious who'd started the "lame" rumors; she felt it was one of her "exes" because ex-boyfriends sometimes do "silly" things to get their ex-girlfriends' attention. That's all she said! I wouldn't even have considered you as one of her "exes" because she'd never said she'd dated you, but if you felt an urgent public press conference needed to be called over this matter, why didn't you just call one yourself and say whatever you wanted to say? All Kangana did was speak, right? Do you not know how to speak and publicly clarify an issue, if needed? (The only potential problem is that, when speaking publicly, one has to speak the truth if one doesn't want to be sued for defamation. I honestly cannot think of another reason that could possibly be holding you back: hence, my inability to buy what you’re selling).

2) Your friends' story requires a staggering level of "suspension of disbelief," while Kangana's friend's story, so far, is entirely plausible. (Yes, I'm most definitely incorporating the Paris proposal when I say that).

For instance, an "obsessed" cyber-stalker "harassed" you so much (only via email), but you never simply blocked her or asked her to stop?

Moreover, if an "obsessed" cyber-stalker, who'd "harassed" you for over two years, had finally indicated that you were one of her "exes," and for her, that "chapter" was now "over," wouldn’t you feel utter relief? If your "harassment" story were true, it would make no sense whatsoever for you – a divorced (single) man -- to choose that moment, of all times, to actively tweet, reach out to your mentally-unstable cyber-stalker, and engage her in any way (especially with an additional criminal threat and a legal notice); instead, you would have simply breathed a huge sigh of relief and "moved on," too! This is especially true if we're to believe that you were ignoring her for two years, protecting her image, etc.

If, however, Kangana's story is true, and she broke-up with you due to a toxic relationship, then it would make sense for you to reach out to her, under any pretense, just to still have a "hold" on her, engage her (in a hostile yet passionate manner), and call the shots with regard to how your relationship will play out till its inevitably bitter end. You're definitely not indifferent to her; that's for sure. You seem completely incapable of ignoring her.

Also, if she's so "dissociated from reality" that she believes in "imaginary friends," why in the world would you entrust her with the responsibility of holding a press conference and talking only about you? You commanded her to publicly say that there's never been any relationship between you two--not even a platonic one--and you commanded her to never say your name again after that... I cannot help but think of that final scene of "Dil To Pagal Hai"... I could be wrong, but didn't Shahrukh's (angry and heartbroken) character make very similar demands of Madhuri's character, only for the latter to end up tearfully running back to the former's open arms?

Again, I'm not buying what you're selling.

3) I noticed that Kangana's friend had mentioned that you were "tech-savvy," so 5 days later, on March 22, 2016, you tweeted something about how you're "not that tech-savvy" and "don’t need to be." I agree; you don't need to be tech-savvy to hack into someone's email account, which is what Kangana's friend has alleged that you've done to Kangana. In fact, if you were dating and in the same house, you could've just sent her somewhere (to fetch you something), when Kangana was checking her email and before she was logged out. You'd simply have to click on "change password" and change it to whatever you want; she'd instantly be locked out of her email account and you'd be completely controlling it in Kangana's name – even possibly writing emails from that account (to your own account) saying she has Asperger's Syndrome, etc. I point this out because Kangana's repeated (and unchanged since Day One) assertion is that she was forced to abandon her email accounts after they were hacked by you (and/or your "team").

When that is Kangana's claim, why in the world would you remain fixated on any cyber-investigation of laptops and phones? It's such a tremendous waste of everyone's time, energy, and resources. You want so desperately to "prove" that the "Asperger’s Syndrome" label didn't come from you, and that you were just "repeating" what Kangana/Rangoli had emailed to you, but it's completely impossible to prove that. At most, you could prove that emails were sent from Kangana's laptop to your laptop, and that no replies were sent from your laptop to Kangana's laptop; however, there's no way to definitively prove who wrote those emails! Therefore, what is the point of your sudden, feverish pursuit of an "impersonation" case, over two years after the fact?

Within the narrow confines of your impersonation-case, you will also never definitively prove that you didn't have a romantic relationship with Kangana, so what is the point of pursuing this impersonation-case? Based on your (and your team's) behavior, thus far, I can only conclude that it's a convenient way for you to distract the Indian public from the fact that you haven't pursued your legal defamation-case for the past 50-plus days. If your "team" keeps churning out an endless barrage of articles, throwing around the words "case," "evidence," "proof," "cooperation," and "innocence," you're hoping to fool the Indian public into believing that you've cooperated with the legal-route or "case" that would actually end this conflict, provided any solid evidence or proof of your innocence, and that Kangana's to blame for any delay.

This is, again, why I can't buy what you're selling; in fact, you haven't cooperated at all with pursuing any legal defamation case that actually would end this conflict, and you've just distracted the Indian public, for over 50 days now, with lots of meaningless drivel. Kangana's not at all to blame for your stalling and foot-dragging, especially because she has said (on-record, out of her own mouth), "If the other party who sued me for defamation and asked for a public apology can prove defamation, I promise to apologize publicly." Your lack-of-a-passport-stamp is not even remotely "proof" or "evidence" of anything, especially regarding whether or not the Paris proposal happened. Finally, the fact that you paid a private company for a cyber-forensics report, and submitted it to cyber-police, also negates that submission as any sort of "proof" or "evidence" of anything. Therefore, you have yet to actually submit any solid proof or evidence of any kind, so it's inexcusable for your team to have released any quotations about your supposed "innocence."

4) Moreover, with regard to all the hype about how you were supposedly so cooperative and handed over all of your evidence long ago, how do you square that with the fact that, just days ago, you suddenly found/submitted 40-plus emails that were, in your team’s words, "vital" to the investigation? Where were all of those emails hiding before? On a related note, is the Indian public supposed to believe that you only have access to one computer? I mean, you have a veritable army of people releasing an endless deluge of articles on your behalf, and you allegedly paid your ex-wife about $62 million (U.S. dollars) in alimony; however, you can only afford one computer? Even I currently have access to 3 computers, 3 smart tablets, 3 smart phones, and a landline phone, and that’s just within my home.

I don't additionally have an army working for me; therefore, I nearly malfunctioned when I read that you supposedly couldn't be the "impostor" because he sent messages from an Apple iPad, which you supposedly didn’t own at the time. This is, again, why I can't buy what you're selling; I read an article, dated October 28, 2013, which said, "Apple Inc. does a first, signs up with Hrithik Roshan's Krrish 3, set to play on iPhone 5, iPad and more." You signed this huge deal with Apple, specifically to have them play your content on their devices, but you didn't have any access to an iPad? (Would they not have given you several Apple devices as complementary gifts)?

5) I'm wondering: just how dumb is the Indian public? I ask because, if you were in America, your story would've been metaphorically ripped to shreds by now; the American public would absolutely not buy what you're selling.

6) I'm also wondering: where are the journalists in India? Are there any? I ask because I've only been privy to online articles throughout this ordeal, and in them, I've seen no analysis whatsoever and an extraordinary lack of fact-checking; therefore, a reader is left to do this all on his own. Isn't it a journalist’s job to help educate and inform the public about newsworthy events and clarify the various nuances therein? If so, why hasn't anyone been doing this job? Why are we, instead, served a buffet of copy-and-paste press releases from your team?

7) Does Kangana even have a "team?" I ask because she's just quietly taken a metaphorical beating for the past couple of months, while your "team" has gone ballistic in attacking her in the media. She and her lawyer barely even speak, and when they do, it's only to reveal the numerous lies propagated by your "team"-- especially when these lies concern legal matters.

8) This is all to say that -- at least in my eyes -- you are digging yourself into a deeper and deeper hole with each passing day and each word that comes out of your team's collective, gigantic mouth.

Notice that I've never said that you're guilty; that's because, in America, everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. You have yet to even go near a court of law!

A media-trial, which your "team" has actively pursued, is different, though; innocence and guilt are determined by the intelligence and thoughtful observations of the public, and so far, you're looking mighty suspicious to me. I can't buy anything you're selling because you haven't produced even one plausible sentence, much less an entire narrative like Kangana's friend has delivered.

The fact remains, though, that neither you nor Kangana have provided one iota of solid proof or evidence to defend your respective stories. Therefore, "the jury is still out," as we say in America, and I cannot yet give you my final judgment on this matter.

9) Instead, I will give you my advice. If I were in your position, and wanted the truth to come out, I would follow these 3 simple steps:

a) Just tweet, "Kangana Ranaut and I have never been in Paris, France, at the same time. She merely imagined us being there together." Your "friend" has already said that you've only been to Paris once, ever, with your 2 kids. Therefore, after this specific tweet from you, and after all of the media-bashing she's faced, I'd expect Kangana to file a legal defamation case against you.

b) During the defamation case proceedings, be prepared with solid evidence and proof of where you were on all dates when Kangana was in Paris, France -- from 2013 to the present.

Done. Either she'll prove that you're a liar, or you'll prove that she's a liar; reveal the results publicly. Case closed.

And isn't this the central matter that you want resolved: to prove that you were never in any romantic relationship with Kangana?

Just in case you're the liar (since there's a 50-percent chance that you are), you might want to skip steps "a" and "b" and immediately move to step "c:"

c) Do what you demanded of Kangana in your legal notice to her: change your story about your relationship and publicly apologize to her in a press conference (and via social media).

Honestly, apologizing is the least you could do, regardless; considering you've already allegedly committed other crimes against Kangana, she probably has at least a couple of FIR's that she could file against you.

10) If, by any chance, you decide to ignore my advice and instead pursue any crooked and non-existent step "d," please know that I will never again, in this lifetime, buy anything that you're selling.

I say this because I've closely observed this entire fiasco from the beginning; my gut tells me that you're waiting for your magical date of April 30, 2016, only to have some cyber-cop buddy or paid-company say, "Lo and behold! That 'impostor' from the U.S. seems to have accessed fake-Hrithik's email account while using Kangana's laptop!"

Again, this would "prove" absolutely nothing! (And it would officially turn your slice-of-life drama into the most God-awful Bollywood movie I've ever had the misfortune of witnessing in my entire life)! Kangana as the supposed "impostor?!" Please!! All it would tell me is that you perhaps accessed that email account, while using Kangana's laptop, in a sadistic attempt to frame her and make her seem crazy to the world.

On a similar note, if you think that I'm buying that there's any actual criminal "impostor" in the U.S., who has nothing better to do than to pretend to be you, please think again!

Moreover, even if your cop-buddies "prove" that the "fake-Hrithik" email account was not simply started in the U.S., but also predominantly/entirely operated from the U.S., it still, in fact, would prove nothing. Do I need to reference your net worth again and the army of people who work for you? You could've easily employed some patsy in the U.S. to receive, read, and respond to emails (especially from your female "fan") on your behalf; U.S. celebrities and politicians do this all the time, and incidentally, some of them have a lot of extramarital affairs.

11) Just so you know…
So far, I've only seen one of Kangana's films: "Fashion." On the other hand, I've seen 7 of your films, and I own a few of your DVDs, including one that keeps alternating between a song/dance of Shahrukh and a song/dance of yours. My parents even went to see your "Kites" movie at an American movie-theater back when it was released. We have all contributed to your earnings, but this is the first time I've ever written to you.

It's also the first time I've ever written an "open letter," so I have no idea what will happen; hopefully, you will read this.

Love (specifically "tough love," as we say in America).

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