Close to a decade ago, Priyanka Chopra was in the news for the wrong reason when she got involved in an ugly spat with a co-passenger on a flight. The two had gotten into a verbal spat and hurled abuses and threats to get each other arrested.

The passenger, an Indian origin cardiologist accused her of risking the lives of others by talking on phone while the plane was about to take off. "I told Priyanka Chopra she was risking the lives of her fellow passengers. But she started abusing me," Dr Fayaz Shawl had told Hindustan Times. Dr Shawl, with high-profile patients such as UK's Queen Elizabeth and Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, was travelling first class in the Emirates flight from Mumbai to Dubai when the incident occured. 

Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka ChopraTwitter

The Bajirao Mastani actress, however, had said she did not break any rules, and called the co-passenger an attention-seeker. 

Priyanka's take:

"He is an attention seeker who started filming me on his phone despite my objections. He was drunk and threatened to call his friend, the Sheikh of Dubai, and get me into trouble. I challenged him to do that as I broke no rules. He later apologised," Priyanka had retorted.

"It is disgusting that celebrities like us get a raw deal at the hands of attention seekers, so easily. These allegations are a bunch of lies. That man is a lunatic. If it hadn't been for his old age, I would have slapped him for how he behaved with me on the flight. I was calling him 'sir', as I've been brought up to respect elders," she had said.

Dr Shawl's take:

The then 60-year-old doctor had also shared his version of the spat to the media: "I boarded this Emirates flight on which Priyanka Chopra was a co-passenger in first class. She occupied the window seat and was on the phone even when the flight started to take off. The staff was not objecting as they were in awe of the star, so, I passed a note to her to stop. I know of two air crashes that took place due to the phone signals interfering with the air control."

"At this, Priyanka turned to me and said, 'Who the hell are you to stop me?' I said, 'Lady, had you been in the US, you would have been handcuffed for this.' To this, she replied, 'F*** US.' I told her that I am a doctor and saw veteran actor Dilip Kumar in Mumbai. She said, 'Who the hell cares about that old man?' So, I said, 'You have no right to endanger my life and that of 250 other people.' She then said: 'Let's go to the pilot.' I told her that when we get off at Dubai, I could get her arrested for this."

The doctor had also said he had recorded the incident on his phone and had filmed co-passengers, who had said on camera that they were scared when she was talking on the phone on-flight.

Tennis player Leander Paes was one of the eyewitnesses: 

Leander Paes, who was sitted one seat infront of actress, defended her by saying that had she violated rules, the stewards would had taken actions. "I happened to be sitting one seat in front of Priyanka. I was snoozing and didn't know there was a situation till I heard shouting. It appears that the guy had an issue with her being on the phone. That's totally absurd. Had she been violating rules, the stewards would've taken action. In fact, they later apologised to Priyanka for the behaviour of this guy, who appeared to have had one drink too many. I think he was just looking to seek attention," the tennis player had said.

Priyanka at the Golden Globe awards 2020
Priyanka Chopra looks stunning at Golden Globe awards nightinstagram