(Web Desk): “Khaani” star Feroze Khan claims he served filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy with a defamation lawsuit, claiming she “played” with his reputation by “publicly humiliating” him without hearing his side of the story. He demanded that Ms Obaid-Chinoy should apologise for acting on a “baseless allegation,” a reference to his former wife Aliza Sultan’s accusations of domestic abuse and should return her Lux Style Award. The filmmaker has not responded publicly yet.
“My legal team has served [a] legal notice of defamation to Sharmeen Obaid-Chinnoy sahiba,” he wrote on Saturday. The law will now take its own course. She claims to be an investigative journalist, but her actions speak for themselves. Ms Chinoy has never attempted to contact me or hear my side of the story — not even once — yet she was too quick to publicly humiliate me in a matter where not even a criminal complaint has been filed against me.”
Feroza said, she has “called into question” her own credibility by criticising the “standard” of her investigative journalism. “However, if you are normally better than this and, before jumping to any conclusions, you usually make an effort to hear both sides of the story,” he added.
Khan’s legal team called the filmmaker “reckless” in a matter that has “substantially destroyed our client’s livelihood and is likely to destroy his entire life,” according to the alleged notice shared on his Instagram. They claimed she did not contact Khan to get his side of the story. “Yet, in an unprofessional manner, you declared our client guilty. “Your conviction was so strong that you publicly returned your award to Lux simply because our client was nominated for best actor,” it read.
Calling it “unprofessionalism of [the] highest order”, the notice said Obaid-Chinoy was “uncertain” and came with “double standards”. “Whilst you were quick to make a publicity stunt out of this baseless allegation, you have never till date offered to return your ‘Oscar’ notwithstanding the fact that innumerable times, various celebrities accused of ‘domestic abuse, violence and other heinous criminal offences’ have been nominated time and again.
“Perhaps you conveniently failed to investigate this part as well or were too afraid to act so recklessly outside Pakistan, knowing full well that you cannot play with anyone’s reputation in such a childish manner,” they concluded.
Khan served defamation notices on several celebrities last month. In his initial Instagram post announcing the legal notice, which he later deleted, he shared their private information such as phone numbers and, in some cases, addresses. Sarwat Gilani, one of those named in the notice, threatened Khan with legal action. Farhan Saeed, Aiman Khan, and Muneeb Butt all followed her lead. Obaid- Chinoy’s name was also mentioned in the notice, as was her phone number.
It is pertinent to mention that, Aliza Sultan and Feroze Khan got married in 2018 and have two children together. They filed for divorce in September and stated that they were in the midst of court proceedings to determine custody and visitation rights for their two children. Sultan claimed that her former partner abused her physically and psychologically during their marriage. Khan did not respond at the time.
In October, Sultan shared emergency room records indicating “blunt injuries on both her arms, back, chest, and face,” as well as photos of the bruises, as proof of abuse. Several members of the entertainment industry took to social media to support her. A day after Sultan’s allegations, Khan denied them and vowed to take legal action against the perpetrators of the “rumours”.
A Karachi family court is hearing two cases: one filed by Khan for custody of their two children and one filed by Ms Sultan for child maintenance. The court ordered the verification of Ms Sultan’s evidence in December. The Darakhshan police station’s SHO and the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre’s medico-legal officer were directed to submit their reports in the case.
Also, Faique Ali Jagirani, Khan’s former lawyer, has filed a complaint with the FIA against actor Muneeb Butt for “defaming” him and his law firm.