Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Ranbir Kapoor
Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Ranbir KapoorTwitter

Salman Khan has always been upfront and protective when it comes to Katrina Kaif who had once painted the town red with their romantic affair. Unfortunately things turned awry between the couple and eventually parted ways. But even after their breakup, Salman always had a special place for Katrina in his heart and has had always extended a helping hand towards her knowing that she was in a serious relationship with Ranbir Kapoor at that time. And we all witnessed Salman's protective side when Katrina's bikini-clad pictures with Ranbir Kapoor from their Ibiza holiday got leaked on social media and was first published by a film magazine in 2013.

These pictures had sent ripples not only in the industry but among their fans as well. Ranbir and Katrina, who were very private about their relationship, had started hitting headlines and there was no stopping it whatsoever. The particular episode had left both Ranbir and Katrina upset with the media for being intrusive and peeking into their personal space.

Both Ranbir and Katrina had addressed the matter in a very light manner when they were quizzed about their leaked holiday pictures. During the launch of Dhoom Machale song from Dhoom 3, Katrina tried to make fun of her mismatched bikini and had told the media, "Next time when you all plan to take pictures give me a notice. Red doesn't look good with white (regarding the colour of her bikini)... I will wear matching next."

Ranbir Kapoor (L) and Katrina Kaif
Ranbir Kapoor (L) and Katrina KaifReuters

At that time, Ranbir too had played it cool and had said that Katrina looked very beautiful in a bikini and recommended people to visit Ibiza and its beaches saying that he loved exploring the exotic place.

In fact, an upset Katrina had also penned an open letter to the media about her leaked private holiday pictures which has etched in the hearts and minds of her millions of fans.

"I am writing this to say that I feel most upset, distressed and invaded at my pictures published in a film magazine (and which were carried by other media). The pictures were taken while I was on holiday by someone who, in an act of cowardice, has shot without permission and then used the pictures for commercial gain.

There is a breed of journalism that preys on celebrities in the worst possible manner crossing all lines of privacy and decency. Running these pictures shows support for this school of journalism.

I request that all media running these pictures please refrain from doing so. I have a wonderful relationship with the media and have been accessible to the media at all times. There is no reason for this furtive and invasive behavior," read the letter.

But unlike Ranbir and Katrina, her ex-boyfriend and a visibly angry Salman Khan had lashed out at a scribe's question on his ex-girlfriend's leaked pictures.

Reacting strongly about the entire fiasco, Salman had said, "If such pictures of your's, your mother's or sister's would be out in the media how would you feel? even if your boyfriend's such pictures came out would you like it? If you will not like such things, others won't like it too. What we do in films is a different matter, but exposing one's personal life in this manner is not right, you do not have any right to do something like this."

salman khan, katrina kaif
Salman and KatrinaANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty

Not just that, Salman had followed up on the entire matter and said he read Katrina's open letter and spoke in support of her.

"I read that letter and I thought she had written it down very well, made a lot of sense. The public appearances we make is fine, but bringing our private moments and personal pictures isn't right, it is very cheap," Salman had said back then.

And even now, Salman has always remained by Katrina's side and time and again has floored his fans by showing off his love and affection towards his former ladylove. And it would not be wrong to say that Salman and Katrina have found true friends in each other and would remain till they grow old together.