Bollywood “bad boy” Salman Khan has revealed how he starred in his own real-life action drama when he was bitten by a snake and spent six hours in the hospital.
Khan — who enjoys a cult-like status in star-obsessed India — said the serpent bit him twice when he tried to remove it from his countryside home near Mumbai ahead of his 56th birthday on Monday.
Using a stick, Khan said he “picked up the snake with a lot of love and brought it out, and the snake wrapped itself on the stick and then it started climbing upwards,” he told reporters.
After he was bitten, local villagers “screamed ‘hospital, hospital, hospital’, saying that I should be taken to a hospital quickly. There was so much commotion, the snake was a bit venomous, and it bit me again.”
The actor was administered with antivenom, kept under observation and then discharged after six hours.
Khan is one of Bollywood’s biggest draws, despite a host of controversies.
He was found guilty of culpable homicide for a 2002 hit-and-run which killed a homeless man sleeping on the pavement in Mumbai.
His five-year prison sentence was almost immediately overturned by a higher court.
Khan was convicted in 2018 of shooting dead two rare antelopes on a hunting trip two decades earlier but denied killing the animals.
The snake that bit him survived the latest encounter, with Khan saying it has now been safely taken back to the jungle.
India saw an estimated 58,000 snakebite deaths per year — or 160 every day — between 2000 and 2019, according to a study published last year.
Bollywood bad boy Salman Khan’s first movie since his conviction for shooting dead endangered wildlife opened across India Friday, with analysts predicting box office success for his latest Eid blockbuster.
It has become a tradition in the Hindi film industry for Khan, one of the world’s highest-paid actors, to star in the big release on the Muslim holiday of Eid to mark the end of Ramadan, which begins on Saturday in India.
Action movie “Race 3” is Khan’s fifth straight Eid release and his eighth since 2010.
It is also his first film since he was handed a five-year jail sentence in April for shooting dead two rare antelopes known as black bucks during a 1998 hunting trip.
The 52-year-old, who has repeatedly denied killing the animals, spent two days behind bars before being granted bail.
The bodybuilding actor suffered a rare commercial failure last Eid when “Tubelight”, a drama set during the 1962 India-China war, flopped at the box office but analysts expect “Race 3” to soar.
“It’s Salman Khan, it’s Eid weekend and it’s an action franchise that plays to the galleries and has always been successful. I expect it to make great money,” film distributor Akshaye Rathi told AFP.
Rathi tipped the movie, which also stars Anil Kapoor and Bobby Deol, to make one billion rupees ($14.72 million) during its opening weekend, the benchmark for a surefire blockbuster.
Khan enjoys a cult-like status in star-obsessed India and is one of Bollywood’s biggest draws, despite a host of controversies.
He was found guilty of culpable homicide for a 2002 hit-and-run which killed a homeless man sleeping on the pavement in Mumbai, and was sentenced to five years in prison.
But the verdict was overturned by a higher court in 2015. His acquittal is being challenged in the Supreme Court.
Khan was last seen in “Tiger Zinda Hai” (Tiger Is Alive), released in December.
His 2015 Eid release, “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”, sits third in the all-time list of highest-grossing Hindi language films worldwide, two places ahead of his 2016 Eid offering “Sultan”.
Bollywood superstar Salman Khan left prison on Saturday after being granted bail so he can contest a five-year jail sentence for killing rare antelopes.
Hundreds of frenzied fans awaited the 52-year-old as his vehicle sped through the gates of Jodhpur Central Jail, where the action star had spent two nights after being sentenced on Thursday.
Some tried to cling to the sides of his sports utility vehicle and scores of motorbikes followed Khan as he was driven at high speed to Jodhpur airport to a waiting chartered jet.
He flew to Mumbai where more crowds — with many men emulating Khan’s distinctive hairstyle and clothes — gathered outside his luxury apartment, dancing to songs from his films.
Khan appeared on the terrace of his apartment with his family and waved to his fans.
A judge released Khan, one of the world’s highest-paid actors, in return for bail and sureties totalling 100,000 rupees ($1,500). He cannot leave India without court permission.
Hordes of fans outside the court erupted in celebration on hearing the result, beating drums and chanting Khan’s name.
Khan did not attend the bail hearing but prosecutor Mahipal Bishnoi said the actor must appear in court again on May 7.
Khan’s army of fans and the Bollywood elite were stunned by the court sentence in the 20-year-old case.
Khan had denied shooting dead two rare antelopes known as black bucks on a hunting trip while filming a movie in 1998.
The court found him guilty while acquitting four other actors.
The actor enjoys a cult-like status and is affectionately known by the Hindi name “bhai”, or “brother”.
Relief and anger
“Prayers of millions worked,” said television actor Arjun Bijlani in a tweet.
But while his fans and producers of costly upcoming films may be relieved, Khan still faces a major courtroom drama.
Throughout the multiple cases, eyewitnesses have stated they saw Khan firing a gun in October 1998.
Animal rights group PETA said it was disappointed with Khan’s bail.
“While Salman Khan gets to go back home to his movie star life for now, black bucks were made to pay the highest price, with their lives,” Manilal Valliyate, chief executive of PETA India, said in a statement.
Khan has accused Rajasthan’s forest department of trying to frame him. His lawyers claim the black bucks died of natural causes such as overeating, insisting there was no evidence they were shot.
Four other Bollywood stars — Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam Kothari — who were also accused in the case were acquitted due to lack of evidence.
Khan remains one of Bollywood’s biggest draws despite the off-screen drama, starring in more than 100 films and television shows.
He finished second behind Shah Rukh Khan in the 2017 Bollywood earnings rankings. Both the Khans are among the world’s top 10 best-paid actors.
The Bollywood heartthrob’s latest blockbuster “Tiger Zinda Hai” (Tiger is Alive) collected some $85 million worldwide.
Khan has nearly $90 million riding on his projects in coming months with at least three films in the pipeline, analysts say.
A director of one of Khan’s upcoming films “Race 3” expressed relief at his release.
“I am happy that he has got bail. After working with him so closely I have become a huge fan of him, not only as an actor but also as a human being,” Remo D’Souza told the Press Trust of India.
“Almost 90 percent of the shoot for (the film) is over and the remaining portions will mostly be shot in India.”
Bollywood Superstar, Salman Khan, was found guilty Thursday of killing endangered wildlife nearly two decades ago, a prosecutor said, a charge that could see the bad boy of Indian cinema jailed for six years.
Khan, one of the Indian movie industry’s most bankable stars, was convicted by a court in Rajasthan state of poaching the rare antelopes known as black bucks in 1998.
He will be sentenced later Thursday and faces between one and six years in prison for the crime that has gripped cinema-obsessed India for decades.
Hundreds of police were deployed outside the courtroom in Jodhpur to keep back fans who massed to support the body-building actor best known for his macho roles.
Khan, wearing black sunglasses and a figure-hugging black shirt, walked briskly from a white SUV to the courthouse flanked by security.
Four other Bollywood stars — Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam Kothari — were also accused of joining the hunting trip but were acquitted for lack of evidence.
“Salman Khan has been convicted under the wildlife protection act and the rest of the stars have been acquitted,” prosecutor Mahipal Bishnoi told reporters.
Khan, whose legion of fans emulate his distinct hairstyle and fashion, has accused the state’s forest department of framing him over the black buck case.
His defence lawyers had suggested the black buck died of natural causes such as overeating and claimed there was no evidence they had been shot.
Controversial bad boy
The 52-year-old has been dogged by multiple charges since undertaking the infamous hunting safari in protected forest land while shooting a film in Rajasthan.
The Bishnois, a Rajasthani tribe seen as custodians of the region’s wildlife, filed a complaint against the actors.
Khan was found guilty of killing gazelles on the hunting trip and served a very brief stint in jail but was freed on appeal in 2016.
Last year he was also cleared by a court over the alleged use of unlicensed firearms on the expedition. A higher court is challenging his acquittal.
Controversy has followed the Bollywood bad boy since he burst onto the silver screen in the 1980s.
He was cleared in 2015 of killing a homeless man in a hit-and-run accident. That decision is now being challenged in the Supreme Court.
Indian courts can often take years — and sometimes decades — to pronounce verdicts.
He was also accused of assaulting a former Miss World and provoked a firestorm in 2016 by saying his workout schedule for a film left him feeling “like a raped woman”.
But the off-screen drama has done little to dampen his appeal.
The actor known as “bhai”, meaning “brother” in Hindi, enjoys a cult-like status with the majority of his devotees’ young men who envy Khan for being unmarried at 52.
He remains one of Bollywood’s biggest draws, starring in more than 100 films and television shows.
According to Forbes, he made $37 million in yearly earnings to finish second behind Shah Rukh Khan in the 2017 Bollywood rankings.
Both the Khans are among the top 10 most highly paid actors in the world.
The Bollywood heartthrob’s latest blockbuster “Tiger Zinda Hai” (Tiger is alive) collected some $85 million worldwide.