Bollywood star detained in Westchester County Airport for hours

14 Apr

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The “king of Bollywood” didn’t get the royal treatment at the Westchester County Airport.

Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan, who arrived on a private plane en route to an address at Yale University, was held for about two hours by customs officials, according to news reports.

The detention by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials fomented a minor international incident, The Times of India reported. The Muslim-born actor, who was accompanied by Nita Ambani, the wife of Indian industrialist Mukesh Ambani, was released when “his hosts intervened and took up the issue with the Department of Homeland Security,” the newspaper said.

Citing privacy laws, a Customs spokesman declined to comment directly on Khan’s detention, but said in a statement that the United States “continues to be a welcoming nation” and “strives to treat all travelers with respect.” The Times of India reported that the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi apologized for the incident.

Khan later made his way to New Haven, where he addressed students and made light of the incident.

“Whenever I start feeling too arrogant about myself, I always take a trip to America. The immigration guys kicked the star out of stardom,” he said.

Khan made the trip to Yale to receive a Chubb Fellowship, administered through one of Yale’s residential colleges and previously awarded to journalist Walter Cronkite, former presidents Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan and Israeli leader Moshe Dayan.

The Internet Movie Database says Khan, 47, has had a string of hits as both a leading man and a villain, including the blockbuster “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.” Khan also owns a cricket team.

 

http://www.newsday.com/columnists/other-columnists/bollywood-star-detained-in…

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