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”.
No, I am not dating @karanjohar He is my dearest friend, mentor, buddy and a big brother. Pls. Kindly read the attachement with my statement and hopefully we can lay it all to rest. Wish you all nothing but the best and love XPG pic.twitter.com/I5UQkIt2fx
— Prabal Gurung (@prabalgurung) May 26, 2019
“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.