Actor-director-producer Arbaaz Khan got into national spotlight this week with the Anti-Extortion Cell (AEC) of Thane Crime Branch summoning him over betting in Indian Premiere League (IPL) cricket matches.
When Arbaaz confessed to the police that he had placed IPL bets, there was a huge uproar in the media. Discussions in the mainstream media followed heated debates among Arbaaz’s megastar brother Salman Khan fans and haters on social media. Meanwhile, rumours stating that Arbaaz’s relationship with Salman was soured, only added fuel to fire — though Arbaaz was seen being escorted by Salman’s bodyguard Shera when he went for the questioning.
An AEC official was reported to have said, “We are yet to take a call on Arbaaz’s statement, but as there was no exchange of money, he can be a good witness for us. As per the Gambling Act, we can’t make him an accused as he never paid anything, nor took any money.”
We asked Bollywood PR guru Dale Bhagwagar about the media’s eagerness to grill and pronounce actors guilty. He said, in this matter, both the parties were only doing their job.
“While Arbaaz proved to be a dutiful citizen, the vibrant media proved to be on their toes with reporting. The good part is, the truth came out fast, without Arbaaz being persecuted with trial-by-media and without the issue and speculations being dragged for long,” remarked the Bollywood publicist.