When Hrithik Roshan talked about dad Rakesh getting shot by mafia: 'They wanted money, we didn't pay'

Actor Hrithik Roshan made his movie debut in 1999 with Kaho Na Pyaar Hai, which was directed by his father, Rakesh Roshan. Not only did the film make an instant star out of Hrithik, it also ended the financial crunch for his family.

Hrithik has previously spoken about how his family has not always enjoyed financial security. Due to mounting debts, his parents, him and his sister also had to see some really difficult times.

In 2000 Hrithik was working on his next big film, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham when American-British comedian Ruby Wax visited the film’s sets. She talked to the actors, including Hrithik and Shah Rukh Khan, to learn more about Bollywood and the filmmaking process in India. She was shocked to learn how closely the mafia was involved in movie production and the very real threat they used to pose.

While Shah Rukh gave her a primer on how the mafia functions — threatening to even kill an actor for refusing to work with them — Hrithik gave her the example of his own father.

Rakesh Roshan was shot at outside his Santa Cruz office in the western suburbs of Mumbai in January 2000. The assailants had fired six rounds, of which two bullets had hit him.

Speaking about it, Hrithik said, “My father was in a lot of debt because we had borrowed a lot of money to make the film. The film struck big time–it was the biggest hit in the past five-six years. The one that made me a star (Kaho Na Pyaar Hai). Just in the first week, this happened. They knew my father has hit big time, he is successful, money is going to come in. So they wanted money, we didn’t pay. They shot him. Point blank,” he said.

“That’s what made me believe that there is no point living in fear. If you are destined to die with that bullet, you will. If you’re not, you won’t. So it’s okay,” he added.

Also read: Somy Ali recalls ‘pretty bad’ time in Bollywood: ‘Was in abusive relationship, directors tried to have sex with me’

Last year, the sharpshooter Sunil V Gaikwad, who attacked Rakesh, was arrested. “The accused has 11 cases of murder and seven cases of attempt to murder registered against him. One of these includes attempt on Bollywood director Rakesh Roshan’s life in 2000,” the police had said at the time of the arrest.

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