Suniel Shetty is always known to be a fair man. It therefore came a shocker to hear him being quoted on a television channel implying that he was unhappy with his daughter Aathiya's debut happening with the lately-beleaguered Sooraj Pancholi.
Rising to the boy's defense, Suneil says, "I never said that! It's sad that words are being put into our mouths. I don't for a moment regret the decision to launch my daughter with Sooraj. Why should I? Sooraj is as much my child as Aathiya. This (the crisis post Jiah Khan's suicide) can happen to anyone. God forbid any parent from going through what Aditya and Zarina are going through right now. And I can't even begin to imagine Jiah's mother's grief. Even if my daughter gets a scratch I am inconsolable. To lose one's child is beyond any comprehension."
However, Suniel fails to see why Sooraj must be blamed for the tragedy. "They had a relationship. Whatever happened between them is known only to them. No second person can take responsibility for an individual's death. I've met Sooraj. He's sweet soft-spoken boy. I don't see him harming anyone, least of all someone he loved."
Suniel says he totally stands by the project introducing his daughter Aathiya with Sooraj. "To me there is no difference between Aathiya and Suraj. They're both equally important. I've full faith in the project. In any case it is entirely Salman Khan's baby. He has taken over the project completely. I've taken the backseat as far as Aaithiya's launch is concerned. We're letting Salman take all the decisions on behalf of Aathiya and Sooraj."
The director for the project is yet to be decided.
Says Suniel, "The details including the director are being worked out. We start shooting for Hero with my daughter and Sooraj in September-October. One thing is for sure, all this (the controversy involving Sooraj Pancholi) makes no different to the project. Salman knows what he is doing. And I've full faith in Salman, the project and in Sooraj."
Suniel's only regret is that the announcement happened prematurely. "Salman, Aditya Panscholi and I wanted the project introducing Aathiya and Sooraj to be announced when everything was in place."
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