As a child, he was notorious for throwing cats out of the window and clipping birds’ wings. As an adult, this nawab is faring much worse
1. Marrying an actress 12 years his senior (1991)
It was more of a social controversy than any moral or legal transgression. Saif married Amrita Singh when he was only 21, and she 33. It ruffled a few feathers in Delhi glitterati which wasn’t certain how Sharmila Tagore and the late Nawab of Pataudi would take the news. The marriage itself lasted for more than a good decade until he dumped her for Rosa Catalona, an Italian model.
2. Beating up journalist for writing about Amrita Singh (1994)
In 1994, Kanan Divecha, assistant editor of filmi gossip magazine, Star and Style, was bashed up by Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh because the magazine had printed an article about Amrita Singh’s alleged affair with Amitabh Bachchan. The police was accused of dilly-dallying and not following the case due to Saif’s influence. However, the High Court demanded that Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh settle the matter out of court and apologize for the incident, which they publicly did in 1999.
3. Beating up gay activist Ashok Row Kavi for bitching out Sharmila Tagore on a TV show (1995)
On the ill-fated ‘Nikki Tonight’ show in the early ‘90s, gay activist Ashok Row Kavi made some unflattering comments on Saif Ali Khan’s mother, Sharmila Tagore. The next day, Saif landed up at Kavi’s apartment in Santacruz and bashed him up. When Kavi’s mother tried to intervene, he hit her too. Kavi filed a police complaint. The police was accused of causing delays due to pressure from Saif’s family. Eventually, Saif was brought to the Bandra Metropolitan Court in 1997 and he publicly apologized to Ashok Row Kavi there.
4. Killing an endangered species in royal style (1998)
On the shoot of ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’, to impress co-stars Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam, Salman Khan and Saif Ali Khan took them on a jeep ride and well, they shot dead some endangered black bucks. The incident had environmentalists and locals up in arms for the high-handedness and disregard that Bollywood can sometimes show for the law. But Saif got away eventually, again. Salman Khan though was convicted with a five-year rigourous imprisonment sentence. The conviction is being contested in the courts at present and he has been let out on bail.
5. Dumping Amrita for Rosa (2004)
Amrita herself claimed that she was deeply disappointed with the break-up and also tried to make a comeback with a television serial. The kids she chose to keep for obvious reasons. Saif moved on to his newly-found muse Rosa Catalano, an Italian model whose innings with Bollywood was as short-lived as her affair with the Nawab.
6. Ordering his guards to beat up a photographer (2008)
Location: Patiala, Punjab, the sets of ‘Love Aaj Kal’. Incident: A filmi photographer, Pawan Sharma, arrives at around 5.30 pm and attempts to shoot Saif Ali Khan. Enraged, Saif Ali Khan orders his guards to beat him up. A court case has been filed against Saif Ali Khan and two other line producers from the shoot.
7. Saif lands up in hospital with chest pain (2008)
The gossip mill had every possibly theory from a heart attack to a cocaine overdose, neither of which was ever confirmed. However, the official version goes like this: while performing at a rehearsal of the Stardust awards, Saif complained of severe chest pain and was rushed to Lilavati hospital. After this shock, Saif promised to quit smoking.
8. Refusing to let Kareena do a bedroom scene in 'Heroine' (2011)
The Nawab is extremely protective of his girlfriend Kareena. For the longest time, the producers of Heroine were not sure whether Kareena would agree to do any steamy scenes. It turns out that Saif cannot stand the idea of her getting intimate with anyone on screen. Finally, it turns out that Kareena’s thespian instincts won over her possessive boyfriend. But this did delay matters for Madhur Bhandarkar’s ‘Heroine’, a production which was already reeling from Ash’s pregnancy dhoka.
9. Beating up a diner at Wasabi (2012)
While dining at Wasabi, Bombay’s posh Japanese restaurant, Saif was ticked off by another table that chose to move to another section of the restaurant; they were not so happy with how loud Saif and his Bollywood comrades were being. So Saif walked up to the Iqbal Sharma, a South African businessman, and punched him on the nose, fracturing it. Saif was arrested and released on bail within 90 minutes, again raising alarm about how easily he gets away with it, all the time.