Feroze Khan says he has served Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy a legal notice for ‘defamation’ by returning her Lux Style Award

Feroze Khan says he has served Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy a legal notice for ‘defamation’ by returning her Lux Style Award

The actor demanded an apology from the filmmaker for acting "in haste or out of bias".
19 Feb, 2023

Actor Feroze Khan says he has served filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy a legal notice for “defamation,” claiming she has “played” with his reputation by “publicly humiliating” him without hearing his side of the story. He demanded an apology from Obaid-Chinoy for acting on a “baseless allegation” — in reference to the accusations by his former spouse Aliza Sultan of domestic abuse — and returning her Lux Style Award. Obaid-Chinoy has not responded publicly yet.

On Saturday, he shared a part of the notice and wrote, “My legal team has served [a] legal notice of defamation to Sharmeen Obaid-Chinnoy sahiba. The law will take its own course now. She claims to be an investigative journalist, however, her conduct speaks otherwise. It is a matter of record that Miss Chinoy has never tried to contact me or hear my side of the story — not even for once — yet she was too quick to publicly humiliate me in a matter where not even a criminal complaint is lodged against me.”

Calling out the “standard” of her investigative journalism, he said she has “called into question” her very own credibility. “However, if you are normally better than this and before jumping to any conclusions, you normally make an attempt to hear both sides of the story [and] only in this one case you have acted in haste or out of bias, then surely you owe me an apology,” he added.

In the purported notice shared on his Instagram, Khan’s legal team called the filmmaker “reckless” in a matter which has “substantially destroyed our client’s livelihood and is likely to destroy his entire life”. They said that Khan was not contacted by her to hear his side of the story. “Yet in a most unprofessional manner, you took it upon yourself to pronounce our client guilt. Such was your conviction that you publicly returned your award to Lux merely because our client was nominated as the best actor,” it read.

Calling it “unprofessionalism of [the] highest order”, the notice said Obaid-Chinoy’s conduct was “dubious” and came with “double standards”. “Whilst you were quick to make a publicity stunt out of this baseless allegation, you have never till date offered to return your ‘Oscar’ notwithstanding the fact that innumerable times, various celebrities accused of ‘domestic abuse, violence and other heinous criminal offences’ have been nominated time and again.

“Perhaps you either conveniently failed to investigate this part too or were too afraid to act so recklessly outside Pakistan, since you know it well that there you can not play with any ones reputation in such a childish manner,” they concluded.

Last month, Khan served several celebrities defamation notices. In his initial post announcing the legal notice on Instagram that he later deleted, he shared their private information like their mobile pone numbers and, in some cases, their addresses. Sarwat Gilani, one of the people mentioned in the notice, threatened to take action against Khan. She was followed suit by Farhan Saeed, Aiman Khan and Muneeb Butt. Obaid-Chinoy was also mentioned in that notice and her private number was also shared.

The case

Sultan and Khan married in 2018 and share a son and a daughter together. They announced their intention to divorce in September and said they were in the middle of court proceedings discussing custody and visitation rights for their two children. Sultan had said she was physically and psychologically abused by her former partner during their marriage. Khan refused to comment at the time.

In October, Sultan shared emergency room records which marked “blunt injuries on both her arms, her back, chest and face” as well as photos of the bruises as evidence of abuse. Several members of the entertainment industry rallied behind her on social media. A day after Sultan’s allegations, Khan denied them and vowed to take legal action against the perpetrators of the “rumours”.

A Karachi family court is hearing two cases — one filed by Khan for custody of their two children and another filed by Sultan for maintenance money for the children. In December, the court ordered the verification of evidence submitted by Sultan. The SHO of the Darakhshan police station and the medico-legal officer of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre were directed to submit their reports in the case.

Separately, Khan’s former lawyer, Faique Ali Jagirani, has approached the FIA against actor Muneeb Butt for “defaming” him and his law firm.