NEW DELHI - Megastar Amitabh Bachchan is in no mood to forgive and forget daily tabloid Mumbai Mirror for allegedly invading the privacy of his daughter-in-law actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and for claiming that she can’t risk pregnancy due to stomach tuberculosis. He has demanded an apology from the newspaper.
“The unprofessional and slanderous nature of this article in such an esteemed and respected newspaper as the Mumbai Mirror is deeply disturbing. It brings the author of this article into disrepute. It brings the editor that published this article into disrepute. It brings this particular newspaper into disrepute. It brings the profession of journalism into disrepute,” Amitabh posted on his blog www.bigb.bigadda.com.
“This article is in violation of the journalistic norms of conduct as published by the Press Council of India. Beyond your own disgrace, you have caused grievous distress and harm to the Bachchan family,” he added.
The article in question, “Pregnant Pause - Aishwarya Rai Bachchan”, was printed in the Thursday edition of the tabloid and alleged that Aishwarya is suffering from contracted tuberculosis of the stomach and as a consequence of this disease and its treatment, she is unable to conceive. The article also said that Amitabh has been pressing the duo for a grandson and was “therefore gender prejudiced”.
The 67-year-old has written to Meenal Baghel, the editor of Mumbai Mirror.
He posted: “Due to the illicit nature of this slander, I request a retraction and full apology. The full apology comprises the names of the individual journalist and chief editor, the journalists and editors unqualified retraction and refutation of the contents of the article, the apology should be addressed to both Aishwarya Rai Bachchan first and specifically, and also to the Bachchan family in general.
“The apology is to be printed on the first page of the entertainment section of the Mumbai Mirror on the same page, in the same size print, and including the signatures of the aforementioned journalist and editor and an immediate donation of a sum of (amount to be decided by members of my extended family of the blog) to a national charitable foundation of your choosing that supports those who suffer from tuberculosis and an article in your newspaper highlighting its work.
Aishwarya had written to the tabloid Thursday asking for a denial and apology of equal prominence. The retraction was printed in the next edition.