Mumbai: Hrithik Roshan today broke his silence on his prolonged public spat with Kangana Ranaut, who claims to have had an affair with him, and said he had never met her "one on one" in his entire life.
How could an alleged seven-year passionate affair between two celebrities leave no trail, the "Kaabil" star asked in a lengthy statement released on social media.
In 2016, Hrithik slapped a legal notice on his "Kites" co-star for calling him a "silly-ex" and maintains that there was no relationship between them.
According to Kangana, however, they had an affair. She has also accused the actor of slut-shaming her by allegedly leaking their private emails to the media.
It has been an ugly, public row that has refused to die down.
Today, the fight took another turn with the 43-year-old actor issuing a statement for the first time, but without naming Kangana
"I believe that ignorance, non-reaction and staying on the path of dignity is the best way to discourage any persistent unwanted intrusions. But just like a nagging health issue sometimes ignored can turn malignant, this situation for me has unfortunately turned malignant," he said.
Calling out the media for jumping to conclusions, Hrithik said he had remained silent while the other party kept talking because he did not see any grace in adding to "this circus".
"I have been dragged into a dirty perverse mess without a choice in the matter. This is something that is not of my making. The truth is, I have never met the lady in question one on one in my entire life. Yes, we have worked together, but there has been no meeting in private. That's the truth," he said.
Kangana's lawyer Rizwan Siddiqui, however, refuted Hrithik's claims and said the actor was using diversionary tactics.
"My client categorically seeks answers to the below questions which have remained unanswered since very long.
Instead of coming out clean and answering the below questions Mr Hrithik Roshan is only using diversionary tactics," he claimed.
He also accused Hrithik of using a "private and favorable forensic report for which he has personally paid for".
Hrithik said in his statement that he was the victim, not Kangana. The actor said his fight was not against the "allegation of an affair" or to defend a "good guy" image. He also urged the media to not call it a "lovers spat".
"I am in fact protecting myself from something far more serious, sensitive and destructive than that. Sadly, very few from the media or the public seem to be interested in the truth. This has been a hard-learnt fact for me," he added.
The actor said he was ok if people were not interested in the truth as it threatened their model of the world where "a girl is the victim and the man the aggressor".
While he understands that women have suffered "centuries of abuse at the hands of men", it does not mean that one man "cannot be vulnerable and one woman can't be a liar", he said.
"An alleged seven-year long, passionate affair between two high profile celebrities with no trail left behind. No evidence, no paparazzi pictures, no witnesses, not even a memento in possession like a selfie taken at the alleged engagement which is claimed to have happened in Paris in January 2014. Nothing that constitutes an exchange or any sort of proof of a romantic relationship," he said.
"Yet we want to believe the other party because the rhetoric is - why would a girl lie. My passport details show no travel outside the country in January 2014, which is the date that this alleged engagement supposedly took place. In Paris," he added.
The actor claimed that the only proof presented of this alleged relationship was a photoshopped picture in the media.
"This was immediately exposed, the very next day by friends including my ex-wife."
"There are 3,000 one-sided mails which either I have sent to myself or the woman in question has sent to me. The Cyber- Crime Dept can prove or disprove either story, in just a few days."
He said he has surrendered all his devices including laptops/phones to the cyber cell but the other party has refused to do so."
Contrary to Kangana's claims, Hrithik said the investigation was not closed.
"I am not here to accuse or judge anyone, but it's time I defend the truth because when truth suffers the collective consciousness of society suffers. Civilisation suffers. Closer to home, families suffer. Children suffer," he concluded.
During the promotions of her film "Simran" last month, Kangana had spoken at length again about her fight with Hrithik and asked him to issue a public apology.