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'We are ready for the punishment'

Syed Firdaus Ashraf | September 10, 2008 20:34 IST

Amitabh Bachchan addressed a press conference on September 10 to clear the air about the controversy that erupted after his wife Jaya's comments at the Drona [Images] music launch. He also announced that his new film, The Last Lear [Images], would release as per schedule this week despite Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader Raj Thackeray calling for a ban on all Bachchan movies in Maharashtra.

Amitabh [Images] was accompanied by the film's producer, Planman's Arindam Choudhary, as well as director Rituparno Ghosh and costars Shefali Shah and Divya Dutta [Images].

"I will not get into this controversy because it has become a government issue," Amitabh said. "The home ministry has ordered an enquiry now, and the matter is in their hands. I will wait for their decision, and take my own. We are ready to face them, and ready to bear the consequences. We are ready for the punishment too.

"But if even one person has been hurt, we apologise. Jaya's statements did not have malice. There was nothing political in it either. My mind and heart is clean," he continued.

When a journalist asked him whether he would have to repeatedly prove his loyalty to Mumbai, he replied, "No. If you are a celebrity, you are under scrutiny all the time."

Another journalist asked him if he met Raj Thackeray about this incident. "Raj Thackeray is my friend, and we have a great friendship," Amitabh joked.

Meanwhile, Choudhary claimed that they would release 20 prints of The Last Lear in Maharashtra, out of the total 100 prints.

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