In his book “Khullam Khulla”, the veteran actor made the startling confession of shelling out Rs 30,000 once to buy an award.
When in an interview on India Today TV, anchor Rajdeep Sardesai prodded Rishi about the “Filmfare Award” he bought, the actor said: “No no no… I have not said any names… I just said I bought an award for ‘Bobby’.”
When Sardesai reminded him that it was indeed the Filmfare Awards which gave him the Best Actor award for “Bobby” in the same year as Amitabh Bachchan was in competition for his iconic performance in “Zanjeer”, Rishi said: “It was one of the awards.”
Having said that, he maintains he feels “guilty”.
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“But I was all of 20-21 years old. I was suddenly a huge star after ‘Bobby’. I was a real brat. I was flying in those days… Then somebody came to me and said that ‘We can get this award… Would you like to have it?’ So I said ‘Sure’. The person said it will cost Rs 30,000… Back then, it was big money,” the 64-year-old recounted.
He says the person could have been a con man and “who knows, the money would have never reached the guys (organisers)”.
Rishi said in hindsight he won’t mind giving the benefit of doubt that he got the award on merit as “I just gave a man that money and don’t know if the guys got it”.
“Maybe it was a great con job,” he added.
Is it one of the worst things he has done in his life?
“Absolutely… It was my age, I had no vision, nothing was correct for me at that point of time. I was a rich man’s son, and I felt richer being an actor. I threw money around and I regret it very much,” he said, adding that he even felt guilty about ruffling Amitabh’s feathers over the award.
“I am sorry about it… But it still lies on my table.”
People say film awards can be bought even today?
“Well, I’m not aware of that… But I just got one a couple of days ago,” quipped the actor, who recently won the Best Supporting Actor for “Kapoor & Sons” at the Star Screen Awards, Stardust Awards and Filmfare Awards too.