Controversies That Impacted Bollywood Stars' Careers

Devdiscourse | Mumbai | Updated: 21-05-2024 12:29 IST | Created: 21-05-2024 12:29 IST
Controversies That Impacted Bollywood Stars' Careers
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Bollywood, the world of glitz and glamour, has seen its fair share of scandals that have dramatically impacted the careers of its stars. While some celebrities have managed to bounce back, others have seen their professional lives crumble under the weight of controversy. Here’s an in-depth look at some of the most significant scandals that have shattered Bollywood careers.

Sanjay Dutt: The 1993 Bombay Blasts

Sanjay Dutt, once a promising actor with a string of hits, saw his career come to a screeching halt due to his involvement in the 1993 Bombay blasts case. Accused of possessing illegal arms, Dutt spent several years in and out of prison. Although he made a comeback with films like "Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.," his career never fully recovered from the damage caused by the scandal. The legal battles and the stigma attached to his name have overshadowed his contributions to Indian cinema.

Salman Khan: Hit-and-Run and Blackbuck Poaching Cases

Salman Khan, one of Bollywood's biggest stars, has been embroiled in multiple controversies. The 2002 hit-and-run case, where Khan was accused of driving over homeless individuals, and the blackbuck poaching case during the shooting of "Hum Saath-Saath Hain" have severely tarnished his image. Despite delivering numerous box office hits and maintaining a loyal fan base, these scandals have remained a persistent blemish on his career, often diverting attention from his professional achievements.

Shiney Ahuja: Rape Allegations

Shiney Ahuja was once considered a rising star in Bollywood with critically acclaimed performances in films like "Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi" and "Gangster." However, his career took a nosedive when he was accused and convicted of raping his domestic help in 2009. Although he was later granted bail, the scandal effectively ended his Bollywood journey. Attempts to revive his career have met with limited success, as the allegations continue to overshadow his professional life.

Vivek Oberoi: Fallout with Salman Khan

Vivek Oberoi's career was on an upward trajectory with hits like "Company" and "Saathiya." However, his public fallout with Salman Khan over actress Aishwarya Rai led to a significant decline in his career. The press conference where Oberoi accused Khan of threatening him not only damaged his public image but also resulted in a loss of industry support. Despite his talent, Oberoi struggled to regain his former glory and has since been relegated to lesser roles in the industry.

MeToo Movement: Various Celebrities

The MeToo movement had a profound impact on Bollywood, bringing to light numerous allegations of sexual harassment against prominent figures. Celebrities like Nana Patekar, Alok Nath, and Sajid Khan faced severe backlash and career setbacks as a result of the accusations. While some have denied the allegations, the movement has led to a significant shift in the industry, emphasizing the need for safer working environments. The long-term impact of these scandals is still unfolding, with some careers potentially irreparably damaged.

Raj Kundra: Pornography Case

Businessman Raj Kundra, husband of actress Shilpa Shetty, was arrested in 2021 for his alleged involvement in a pornography racket. The scandal rocked Bollywood, casting a shadow over Shetty's career as well. While Kundra has denied the charges, the case has garnered widespread media attention and scrutiny, affecting his and Shetty's public image. The controversy has also sparked discussions about the industry's darker underbelly and the legal ramifications involved.

Rhea Chakraborty: Sushant Singh Rajput's Death

Rhea Chakraborty, an actress with a budding career, found herself at the center of a media storm following the tragic death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in 2020. Accusations of abetment to suicide, money laundering, and drug use were levied against her. The intense media scrutiny and public backlash significantly impacted her career and personal life. While she was later granted bail and some charges were dropped, the damage to her reputation has been profound, and she continues to face challenges in reviving her career.

Shilpa Shetty: IPL Betting Scandal

Actress Shilpa Shetty's career faced turbulence due to her husband Raj Kundra's involvement in the 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL) betting scandal. Kundra, a co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals, was banned from all cricket activities for life. Although Shetty was not directly implicated, the scandal affected her public image and brought unwanted attention to her career. The couple's association with the scandal led to a temporary setback in her professional endeavors.

Fardeen Khan: Drug Possession

Fardeen Khan, a Bollywood actor known for films like "Jungle" and "No Entry," faced a major scandal in 2001 when he was arrested for attempting to buy cocaine. Although he later entered a de-addiction program and resumed his acting career, the arrest significantly tarnished his public image. The scandal overshadowed his professional achievements, and he struggled to regain his footing in the industry. Eventually, he stepped away from acting, with his career never fully recovering from the setback.

Mamta Kulkarni: Drug Trafficking Allegations

Mamta Kulkarni was a popular actress in the 1990s, known for her roles in films like "Karan Arjun" and "Baazi." However, her career took a drastic turn when she was implicated in a massive drug trafficking case. Her husband, Vicky Goswami, was arrested for running a multi-million dollar drug racket, and Kulkarni was named as a co-accused. The scandal led to her virtual disappearance from Bollywood, and she has since lived a life away from the public eye, with her once-promising career left in ruins.

Monica Bedi: Underworld Connections

Monica Bedi, an actress who appeared in films like "Jaanam Samjha Karo" and "Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat," saw her career derailed due to her association with underworld don Abu Salem. Bedi was arrested in Portugal along with Salem in 2002 for entering the country on forged documents. She served a jail term in India for passport forgery, which severely damaged her reputation. Despite attempts to return to acting and participating in reality TV shows, her career never regained its former momentum due to the lingering stigma of her underworld connections.

Sooraj Pancholi: Jiah Khan's Death

Sooraj Pancholi, the son of actor Aditya Pancholi, was implicated in the death of actress Jiah Khan, who was found dead in her apartment in 2013. Jiah's mother accused Pancholi of abetment to suicide, leading to his arrest and a prolonged legal battle. Although he was released on bail, the case has continued to haunt him, affecting his reputation and career prospects. Despite making his debut with the film "Hero," his career has struggled to take off under the cloud of the ongoing legal case.

Ankit Tiwari: Rape Accusations

Singer and music composer Ankit Tiwari, known for his work on films like "Aashiqui 2" and "Ek Villain," faced serious allegations of rape in 2014. Although he was later acquitted due to lack of evidence, the accusations had a significant impact on his career. The scandal led to a temporary decline in his professional engagements, and he had to work hard to rebuild his reputation in the industry.


Bollywood's glittering facade often hides a more tumultuous reality, where scandals can abruptly end flourishing careers. While some stars manage to rebound, others are not so fortunate, with their professional lives forever marred by controversy. These scandals not only highlight the personal downfalls of the celebrities involved but also reflect broader issues within the industry, from legal troubles to ethical concerns.

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