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Why Was Shah Rukh Khan Briefly Arrested? The 'My Next Guest' Anecdote, Explained


Apr. 27 2020, Updated 4:15 p.m. ET

For the latest installment of David Letterman's post-retirement Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, the legendary talk-show host sits down for an interview with equally celebrated Bollywood star, Shah Rukh Khan.

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For those of you who don't know him, Shah Rukh Khan, or SRK, as he's popularly referred to, is an absolute legend in Bollywood. Screenwriters create roles specifically for him, and he's been in too many comedies, action movies, rom coms and thrillers to name — there's no limit to SRK's range as an actor.

shah rukh khan jail
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With a career that has spanned over 30 years and had him star in some of the biggest movies in Bollywood, SRK is one of the most beloved stars of Indian cinema.

As the two men discuss a wide range of topics, SRK reveals some lesser-known facts about his career as well. Keep reading for a recap on Shah Rukh Khan's jail stint and arrest.

Shah Rukh Khan did some jail time back in 1992.

SRK is David Letterman's first Indian celebrity and the hour-long interview definitely flies by. There is a mutual respect and admiration that both men have for each other and it comes through as David interviews SRK both on stage in New York and at his home in Mumbai.

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But when they touch on the time SRK was arrested, and even spent some moments in jail, we admit we were a bit shocked — though the real die-hards probably recall the incident.

It was still early in SRK's career and he was shooting a movie called Maya Memsaab with actress Deepa Sahi.

shah rukh khan jail
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Cine Blitz, a popular tabloid, published a story that alleged the movie's director, Ketan Mehta, had asked the actors to spend the night together in a hotel in order for them to "get comfortable" with one another. 

The article further details that the actors did indeed spend the night together and the next day, the infamous intimate scene was shot with only the director and DP present. Indian society is more conservative than Western ones, and while a gossip article like that would still be unseemly today, it caused quite a scandal nearly 30 years ago.

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As he describes to David Letterman, SRK was livid when he read the article, which had no byline attached. "I was new [to the industry], so I used to react to every news item, whatever appeared," he said. "I got very angry and I called up the editor and I said, 'You wrote this.' He said, 'But listen can you just take it ... it's just a joke.'"

shah rukh khan jail
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He continued, "So I said, 'I don't find it funny.' So I went down to the office and I misbehaved a lot."

To call it misbehaving is something of an understatement. According to reports from the time, SRK actually thought it was Cine Blitz's editor Keith D'Costa who had written the article, and when SRK ran into him at a party, he went OFF.

He began hurling insults at the journalist and later even showed up at his house and threatened to castrate Keith in front of Keith's parents. 

On his editor's advice, Keith reported the incident to the police, and when the abuse didn't stop, the police had no choice but to arrest the Bollywood darling.

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Unfortunately for Keith, SRK was already very respected and loved in the public eye, and there was little chance he would ever be put in jail. In fact, it sounds like he just spent some time down at the police station.

Actually, when SRK was given his one phone call at the station, he used it to ring up — you guessed it — Keith in front of the officers and continued to threaten him from the holding cell.

It took a few more years for SRK to become convinced that it was never Keith who had written the article in the first place. At that point, he profusely apologized to the writer and went on to give Cine Blitz a number of exclusive interviews and photoshoots. 

Plus, much to his relief, the infamous sex scene was cut from the film before its release, and has never been seen by the public.

Since the Maya Memsaab incident, SRK hasn't done a single risqué scene but remains one of Bollywood's biggest heartthrobs.

Catch the rest of his interview with David Letterman on Netflix.

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