Mahira Khan said that she is human and makes mistakes, and that she is not the perfect role model.
A few weeks ago, pictures of Mahira Khan and Ranbir Kapoor smoking in New York surfaced on the internet and subsequently went viral. Mahira was relentlessly trolled - for smoking, for wearing a halter dress, for 'roaming with a Hindu boy' and innumerable other things.
Soon after, Ranbir broke his silence and said in a statement, "It is very unfair the way she is being judged and spoken about. What is also sad is the inequality in judgment just because she is a woman."
Even as reports of Mahira being depressed about the severe criticism began doing the rounds, she remained mum on the matter. Finally, at the trailer launch of her upcoming film, Verna, the Raees actor unapologetically said, "It is my personal life and it is very normal for a boy and girl to hang out."
Now, Mahira has done a complete U-turn and apologised for the viral photos. In an interview with Something Haute, she said that she was "completely shattered and broken" by all the negative comments directed at her. "I'd be lying if I said that I decided right off the bat that I wouldn't respond to this controversy. And I'm a very strong woman but when all of this happened, I was completely shattered and broken. I would think about posting a statement every day. Then I would stop myself because I just wouldn't know what to say," Mahira said.
She added, "To be honest, I understand where all the criticism came from and it didn't come from a place of hate. I'm not talking about the trolls but those who were genuinely disappointed to see those pictures. It's the same disappointment that my nani or my mamoo would have felt seeing that. So even now when I meet an older lady who says that she didn't like the pictures, I'm quick to apologise."
Many netizens targetted Mahira for her behaviour, especially because she is a mother. "People ask me if I'm a good role model for my fans, and my response to that is that yes, I am a role model but I'm not the perfect role model. I am human, I make mistakes. And I was really happy to see that there were so many people who stood up for me. It goes to show that the narrative in Pakistan is changing, and if nothing else, I'm happy to have been part of that narrative," Mahira said.