Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Aishwarya Rai BachchanVarinder Chawla

Last year, there were reports that Priyanka Chopra had replaced Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Sanjay Leela Bhansali's new muse. However, Sanjay has put all the speculations to rest and said that Aishwarya will always remain his muse.

Bollywood's ace director Sanjay has worked with very few actresses in his career and Aishwarya is one of them. There were times when Sanjay worked only with former Miss World Aishwarya. Be it the epic love story "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam," "Devdas" or "Guzaarish," Sanjay had always signed Aishwarya in the female lead role.

But the director's recent closeness to Priyanka gave rise to the speculations that the "Mary Kom" actress had replaced Aishwarya as Sanjay's muse. There were also reports that Deepika Padukone had replaced Aishwarya to become Sanjay's new favourite actress. However, Sanjay's recent statement has proved that Aishwarya will always remain his favourite actress.

When Sanjay was asked about his favourite muse, he told reporters that Aishwarya has been and always will be his muse, Pinkvilla reports. Sanjay spoke about his bond with the "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam" actress Monday night, when she visited his residence to congratulate him for his first ever National Award win.

Sanjay threw a big party Monday evening to celebrate the success of "Bajirao Mastani," which bagged seven National Awards, including Best Director. Several Bollywood celebrities, including Aishwarya, Shah Rukh Khan, Ranveer Singh, Bhumi Pednekar, Suniel Shetty with daughter Athiya Shetty, music composer Anu Malik, Jacqueline Fernandez, Goldie Behl, Prasoon Joshi, Sonam Kapoor, Sooraj Pancholi, Simi Garewal and Rekha attended the bash in Bandra.