Mumbai: Actor Saif Ali Khan, who was arrested and released on bail in an assault case, Wednesday night, claimed that he had been hit and "verbally abused" first during the "ugly incident" at a five-star hotel last night.
"I was hit first and verbally abused," Saif said, talking to reporters at his home. "I was hit first. And as shocking as it may seem, the elderly gentlemen hit me. I`m not sure what provoked him.
"I am looking forward to CCTV footage (inside the restaurant)," he said, adding that the footage would prove that he was innocent.
"I certainly got it in the eye...his (complainant Sharma`s) nose does not look like broken to me," Saif said. To a query, Saif also said that he was not drunk at the time.
The actor also complained that the media coverage of the incident was one-sided. "There is a certain slant in the press," he said.
He would have never raised hand at an elderly gentleman, the actor said, but also conceded that the situation "could have been handled differently."
"I could have reacted differently. I could have been a little more Gandhian in my approach. But I`m afraid I reacted in a way any gentleman would have reacted. But I`m not proud of what happened.
It could have been handled differently. I should have set a better example. I`m sorry that I reacted this way.
"People assume that just because you are a film star, you are a spoilt brat...I feel like I have been aggressed upon (sic)," he said.
Saif also said, answering a query that he had not run, but gone to police station in the morning "after finishing my work"."I have full faith in the police, judiciary," the actor, visibly agitated, said.
The 41-year-old actor and his two friends were booked under sections 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intent) of IPC for assaulting a South African businessman of Indian origin named Iqbal Sharma at `Wasabi`, a Japanese restaurant at the Taj Hotel last night.
Appearing before a huge posse of media men who had gathered outside his residence late tonight, Saif replied in the negative when asked whether he was drunk.
"I was not drunk," he said. Saif also claimed that he was assaulted first and got hit in the eye. The eye did not appear to be broken, he added.
The actor said the version of events as given by the complainant was "completely untrue and one sided."