| PC, who was once seen by Shah Rukh’s side on every single social gathering, received the cold shoulder from King Khan. In the most extreme sense conceivable. Of course, the act of ignoring her didn’t go down well with Priyanka.
Beseiged by nasty rumours and a whisper campaign, Priyanka decided to immerse herself in work and focus on her forthcoming music album. And thus began her crawl up the ladder of recognition.
Once she was roped in for ‘Krrish 3’, Priyanka cleverly manoeuvred her way. She got back into the limelight, and was seen working hard for the film – that was her first success.
Thereafter, one by one she made peace with the people Shah Rukh is known to be at loggerheads with – yes, beginning with Salman Khan. At Riteish Deshmukh’s birthday party, Priyanka was seen hugging Salman. After Salman, it was the turn to win over the other Khan – Aamir. Priyanka, this time too, had Lady Luck by her side. She dropped in on Aamir on the sets of an ad film shoot, and surprised the actor. And before long, the two were seen in an animated tete-a-tete over tea.
While PC has opted for a dignified silence in the face of nasty media whispers, friends of the actress claim that her calm facade is just that.
Juggling work, her father's illness, and these rumours have taken a toll on the star. In particular she is upset and flummoxed by the campaign unleashed by a powerful producer-director who can make and break careers in Bollywood "At a recent party while he was feeding her cupcakes, she heard rumours of him bitching her out-all, this is very hurtful," said a close associate of the actress who did not want to be identified.
The statement issued by her friends was quite obviously hinting at Karan Johar, who’s SRK-Gauri’s thick pal. And guess Karan has apaprently taken to Twitter to express his anger at the report “Using their hired PR machinery and hiding behind so called "friends" to get news into tabloids is nothing but spineless and lame!!! (sic),” Karan wrote.
“Some people need to wake up and smell the KOFFEE!!! Get a reality check before its too late!!! Grow up!!! And dont mess with goodness.... (sic),” he added. It seems like neither the director nor the actress or the star wives are ready to take any negative publicity in their stride.
The associate-cum-friend believes that a powerful clique of star wives is behind this spate of anti-Priyanka stories. "Priyanka has done nothing wrong. If these women are insecure about their relationships with their husbands, they should sort it out with them, at home. Why should they attack her?": thunders the friend.
The actress, has confided to her friends that whatever is happening to her could be a function of the way the male-dominated industry operates. But she refuses to let it affect her work. "The only way she can strike back is by doing more work, good work. And it is not just films. There is music, endorsements... she is a brand, a multi-faceted personality and there is no way any star-wife can take that away from her." Says the friend emphatically, adding, "To all those who are calling her names, we would like to ask them, what are your achievements? You will only be remembered as Mrs so and so...!"
As for the stars that have allegedly refused to work with the actress, another friend counters by pointing out that she has always maintained a healthy professional relationship with her stars. "Truth is, she has not signed any new films for this year, as she is busy till October. There are several big-ticket projects she has been approached for. But since she has a policy of not announcing any project before it is ready to go on the floors, people will have to wait until August for news on that front."
"She is a feisty fighter, a hardworking girl and will not tolerate any attempts to discredit her professionally," says the friend. "Ever since she was nine years old Priyanka has been in awe of Shah Rukh Khan. But now she is scared to even utter his name in public, no matter how innocent or professional the context." Responding to rumours that the two will not be seen together because of various pressures, the friend says, "Priyanka and SRK shot together for Farhan Akhtar's adult literacy mission film recently. There is nothing on the anvil right now for them to share a platform in public." But sources close to the actress say they continue to remain friendly. According to her concerned friends, it is not easy for her parents to read the vicious reports about their daughter every day.
When asked for her version of the events, Priyanka said she would only talk about her work and the music album. "Whatever has happened is in the past," is all she would say.
Wonder what a certain Khan has to say?