Raj Kundra's tell-all chat on slow justice in porn case: Attack me, not family - Hindustan Times
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Raj Kundra on ‘porn king’ tag, slow justice, attack on family: Trolls write ‘porn king’s wife' on Shilpa's social media

ByRishabh Suri
Feb 28, 2024 02:14 AM IST

In an unfiltered chat with HT City, businessman Raj Kundra, actor Shilpa Shetty Kundra's husband opens up on his porn case like never before.

A beautiful wife, two lovely kids, a comfortable, lavish lifestyle- it all crashed like a pack of cards for Raj Kundra on September 21, 2021. His alleged crime? Creation and distribution of porn.

Businessman Raj Kundra at his Mumbai house. (Raju Shinde/HT)
Businessman Raj Kundra at his Mumbai house. (Raju Shinde/HT)

Three years later, the 48-year-old waits for a normal life. “I am waiting for my discharge, clean chit to come. It’s a matter reserved for order. It can happen anytime now, and will be one of the greatest news of my life. It will be a relief for the family. The perception is made, damage is done. That’s how it is going to be,” he says as we settle down for a chat at his Mumbai home.

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WHY SPEAK UP NOW?

The reason why Kundra wants to openly speak about everything that has happened in the last three years, now, is because he continues to wait for justice. Prashant Patil, his lawyer, had issued a statement in December 2023 which read, “... the records of the case clearly show that the prosecution is intentionally delaying the judicial proceedings for reasons best known to them. This has infringed the Fundamental Right of my client Mr Raj Kundra.”

Kundra says to us, “I am a bit disappointed with the slow system we have today. I was not expecting any privilege. I am, like thousands of people waiting for my case to be heard. Luckily my case has got to a point where it is reserved for order now. My bail happened from the Lower Court so I am fighting from there.”

PORN KING?

Businessman Raj Kundra(Raju Shinde/ HT)
Businessman Raj Kundra(Raju Shinde/ HT)

Ever since the case started, the one tag which refuses to leave the UK-born businessman is ‘porn king’. And Kundra opens up on it, “It all happened because I am married to a celebrity. If I was not, I don’t think half this damage would have been done. I feel they weren’t getting at me, but my wife and kids. It’s really unfair that Shilpa had to bear the brunt of it. You attack me, no issues, she was collateral damage,” he says.

And even after he got out on bail and tries to lead a normal life, the trolls constantly remind him about it. Kundra shares, “I delete and block trolls on social media, I don’t care. But the last thing I want is my wife and kids reading terms like this. Even today, when Shilpa posts a Valentine’s message, trolls start commenting ‘porn king’s wife’... they don’t know the facts! They are not even giving the judiciary a chance to announce whether I am guilty. took a sabbatical from everything, was seen less at events for two years. Then a friend approached me saying they want to make a film based on the notes I wrote while inside the jail, which ultimately became the 2023 film UT69.”

‘I HAD SEEN THE CONTENT ON THE APP’

Kundra claims his only involvement was that his company, named after his son Viaan, was providing services to a company called Kenrin, which is his brother in law’s company. And this said company owned the app Hotshots.

Raj Kundra(Raju Shinde/ HT)
Raj Kundra(Raju Shinde/ HT)

“Gehna Vashishtha (actor who was arrested as well in connection with the pornography case) claimed that cops forced her to give a statement. That says a lot. It’s easy for her to say ‘Raj ne karaya’ and walk out free. But she didn’t and I appreciate the integrity,” he asserts.

Had Kundra seen the content available on Hotshots? “I had seen some of it, on and off. I never had any reason to believe that anything’s there... it sounds like I am the kingpin, and as if I have nothing else to do than this one app. We provided software solutions. It was contractual. Today when you shoot porn, you won’t have contracts between two people. You will say chup chaap banao and upload it,” he reasons.

PUBLIC DOESN’T FORGET

While the film was seen as an attempt to normalise Raj, another belief which people will continue to hold is the businessman must have bribed his way to bail or if he gets a clean chit. “I read comments like ‘khareed liya hoga’. Agar mujhe paise dene hote, toh main jail ke andar hi nahi jaana chahta! I stood my ground and said I won’t pay a penny under the table. It is easy to pay off people. While I was in jail, a lot of dubious people approached my family and said we can get Raj out of this, pay this amount. Even when I get a clean chit, it will be said paisa khilaya hoga,” he rues.

DID HIS MARRIAGE GET AFFECTED?

Kundra married Shilpa on November 22, 2009. When something of this magnitude happens, the first casualty could very well be relationships. How were things between the couple when he was arrested?

He says, “It was horrible. But luckily, we know each other so well. If someone told me something about her, I know how much to believe. She broke into a laughter when she heard about the case and said it’s not true. If you are living at home together and there is something like porn involved, you would know. We are both self made. She knew it’s rubbish but maintained her silence and dignity. There is a public perception she had to live up to. Unfortunately, she bore the brunt of me being involved by losing certain contracts, work on television. I found that very unfair.”

‘I SOUGHT PROFESSIONAL HELP’

His stay in jail for 64 days scarred Raj enough to seek professional help for his mental health. “I didn’t want to, but I was a wreck. Shilpa insisted that I go to a professional. In my sleep, I would hear 250 people murmuring all night, because in jail you sleep in noise. There is lack of food, you are living on watered dal, grains of rice, biscuit with water. I lost 17 kgs in 60 days. Someone at a certain level should be able to get things sorted for him. It hit me like a ton of bricks, the anxiety killed me for a while. Shilpa used to tell me to breathe once outside. She was my calming factor,” he says.

‘MY SON BROKE DOWN’

Kundra gets emotional when we ask while his daughter was too young when this happened, his son was growing up and aware of many things. He says Shilpa had told Viaan not to google his father’s name.

He reveals, “Viaan asked what’s happening, so Shilpa told him ‘there are hundreds of questions dad has to answer. Once he does, he will be back’… Viaan was 10. Shilpa spoke to someone at his school, god knows what parents were telling their children. He is a rock solid kid. He would draw something and send it to me with a letter in jail. He would write ‘papa missing you, come back soon, finish your work’. The first two-three weeks he was fine. Then on my birthday, September 9, 2021, I heard a choke in his voice, and he broke down. I remember sobbing. Aur jail aisi jagah hai the moment you let your guard down, they make fun and take advantage of you. Chadar leke rona padhta hai. For Viaan, I am his hero. Viaan knew his dad’s company is on his name, I would do no wrong. For him, it’s like a bad dream.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Rishabh Suri writes for the daily Entertainment & Lifestyle supplement HT City. From Bollywood to Hollywood, from Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam films, to OTT and television- he covers it all.

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