He was Hero No. 1 and Coolie No.1 through his reign in the ‘90s as the king of slapstick comedy in Bollywood, before trying his hand at politics in 2000s. But not much has been heard about Govinda since his term as Member of Parliament ended in 2009. Now, he’s back in the limelight in rather bizarre circumstances.
On Tuesday, Govinda offered an unconditional apology and Rs 5 lakhs to a fan he slapped on sets of a film in 2008. Still a parliamentarian at the time, Govinda was supposedly provoked by the alleged misbehavior of a fan named Santosh Rai while Money Hai Toh Honey Hai was being shot at Filmistan Studio in Mumbai.
Rai’s case was initially quashed by the Bombay High Court, but the Supreme Court took up the case last year. Govinda’s lawyers had contended that a video clip of the slap had been doctored, but the court rejected this claim.
The Supreme Court had previously faulted Govinda for failing to act with grace and dignity.
On Tuesday, the judges asked Govinda to meet Rai within two weeks and negotiate a settlement. After the hearing, Govinda declared, "I have immense love and respect for my fans who also wanted me to apologise."
Govinda’s apology and particularly the compensation he offered had social media laughing. Here’s a selection: