Nepalese fashion designer Prabal Gurung has denied rumours about a romantic relationship with Bollywood filmmaker-producer Karan Johar.

On 26 May, the New York-based designer had shared a photograph of the two that created a stir on social media.

In the picture that Gurung posted on Instagram, Johar and Gurung seemed to be standing close together and posing for a picture. Karan had his hands around Gurung’s neck while the latter is supporting Karan’s hand. The photo also had a caption from the cult classic, Mughal-e-Azam: “Pyaar Kia To Darna Kia. Happy Birthday KJo.”

Meant to be a birthday post, the message created a lot of debate on social media as to the nature of the post.

Karan Johar turned 47 on May 25, 2019.

Gurung has now released a statement on Twitter clarifying that Karan is just his “dearest friend”.

He wrote: “Can we have some humour and levity please. I feel very saddened and disappointed to need to say this, but to officially set the record straight: I am not in a romantic relationship with Karan Johar.”

He added that the post was done “with humour and my absolute love of Bollywood, it’s melodramatic flair and the one and only Madhubala”.


“It has subsequently been misconstrued as Karan an me being in a relationship. Karan is one of my dearest friends.”

Busting all rumors about romantic involvement with Johar, he added that he had been in a relationship with someone else for the last five years.

Calling Karan his mentor, guru, confidant and a big brother at the time of need, he said, “We’ve seen each other through our respective highs and lows. Karan is someone I deeply admire and respect . Not only has he been there for me, he’s been there for my family as well. I admire his wit, compassion, and his empathy for this world.”

Signing off, the designer wrote: “as a global society, we need to expand the horizon and definition of love. I feel that each and every one of us need to love whoever we want, however we want to love them — unabashedly, openly and proudly.”

Fans on social media are appreciating the designer for his response while others are calling him out for responding in the first place.