I never took any money from Karan Johar, Kamal Rashid Khan

No sooner Ajay Devgn has posted the recorded telephonic conversation between his manager and friend Kumar Mangat and Kamal Rashid Khan in which the latter was heard talking to Mangat that he has been paid Rs 25 lakh by filmmaker Karan Johar to speak ill about ‘Shivaay’ and promote Karan’s film, ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, KRK held a press conference at his office to clear the air.

He said, "Kumar and I have been friends since a long time and I speak with him often. We have also co-produced two films — 'Alone' and 'Aatma'. Kumar Mangat has an issue with me because I called 'Shivaay', 'Himmatwala 2'. He also said that I have adopted Karan Johar. I made light of it by saying that I took Rs 25 lakh to avoid the conversation and dissuade him from pestering me about my tweets on 'Shivaay'."

Kamal Rashid Khan clearly said, "Karan Johar never gave me money to say anything bad about Shivaay or for that matter, any film. So Ajay Devgn should stop firing the gun from my shoulder to target Karan Johar.

He further stated that celebrities "dragged his name" into any controversy to get more publicity.

"People think if they get their name associated with me they will get publicity. Why else would Ajay Devgn drag me into this? This stunt will only garner negative publicity for the film. He doesn't trust his film and that is why he is relying on critics reviews," he added.

Taking a pot shot at Ajay, he said, "Ajay Devgn has no emotional attachment with the industry. He only works for money. He is disturbed and is making me a scapegoat. People seek publicity on my name, and that's what this is."

He even joked, "Mr Karan Johar, now that the world is talking about you giving me money, I guess you actually pay me now."

Khan said that he has always been honest to the films while writing reviews and he would follow the same strategy for ‘Shivaay’ and ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ also.

The ‘Deshdrohi’ actor concluded the press conference by saying, "The issue is only about competition. Ajay might be thinking that his film is not too good. Yet he should not drag a third person into the controversy. Instead the matter should be dealt between the two in the same way that Akshay Kumar and Hrithik Roshan dealt with the Rustom-Mohenjo Daro clash at the box office."