Actor Salman Khan on Monday addressed Priyanka Chopra’s decision to drop out of his upcoming film Bharat, saying he was happy for the actress, but the team got to know of it “at the end moment”, ANI reported.

Speaking at the trailer launch of his brother-in-law Aayush Sharma’s debut film Loveratri, Khan said “If we knew a little earlier time that she has been signed for a very big film there, we would anyway never have stopped her. But...we got to know 10 days before her schedule began. She had come home. I said ‘no problem, of course if you don’t want to do it, then don’t do it.’”

Salman Khan on Priyanka Chopra's exit from Bharat.

Director Ali Abbas Zafar had on July 27 confirmed reports of Chopra’s exit through a cryptic tweet, prompting speculation that the actress pulled out of the project because of her rumoured engagement to American singer Nick Jonas. It was later reported that Chopra had signed the tentpole movie Cowboy Ninja Viking co-starring Chris Pratt. The film, directed by Michelle MacLaren, is based on AJ Lieberman and Riley Rossmo’s comic series of the same name.

Chopra has not specified the reason for her exit from Bharat.

Khan implied that they did not know about Chopra’s Hollywood project when she left Bharat. “We were given some other reasons at that time, that, well, you all would understand!,” he said, hinting at Chopra’s rumoured marriage plans. “That might also be the reason, or maybe this one. Whatever it is – marriage, or some other film or she doesn’t wish to work in India at the moment, or she doesn’t wish to work with me, she just wants to do Hollywood films and TV shows, whatever be the reason, it is her reason.”

Chopra’s international launchpad was the ABC series Quantico, which aired its last episode on August 2. She has also starred in the Hollywood films Baywatch (2017) and A Kid Like Jake (2018). She is next set to appear in Isn’t It Romantic (2019) co-starring Liam Hemsworth. Khan said he was “really happy and supportive” about Chopra’s work. “Even if she isn’t working here, she is making India proud.”

Katrina Kaif has been cast in place of Chopra in Bharat, an official remake of the South Korean movie Ode to My Father (2014). The Eid 2019 release also stars Disha Patani and Nora Fatehi.