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'Bollywood' Star Khan Doesn't Want To Visit U.S. Anymore

Shah Rukh Khan gestures to fans as he leaves the Grevin museum in Paris, Monday, April 28, 2008. (AP i i

Will he kiss USA goodbye? Probably not. Michel Euler/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Michel Euler/AP
Shah Rukh Khan gestures to fans as he leaves the Grevin museum in Paris, Monday, April 28, 2008. (AP

Will he kiss USA goodbye? Probably not.

Michel Euler/AP

In the USA, the Associated Press may say that "Bollywood star" Shah Rukh Khan downplayed being questioned at a Newark Liberty International Airport.

That's certainly not how the news is playing in India.

The top five most-read stories right now on the Times of India's website are about what happened to Khan, and the most-read of the most-read is headlined "Don't Feel Like Stepping On American Soil Any More: Shahrukh."

That story quotes the movie star as saying "I was treated shabbily just because I happened to have Khan as my last name." Khan adds, though, that he likely will keep visiting the U.S. because he wouldn't want to disappoint his fans here.

According to the AP:

U.S. customs officials told The Associated Press that Khan was questioned as part of a routine process that took 66 minutes. Spokesman Elmer Camacho said Khan was not detained, "but it took a little longer because his bag was lost by the airline."

News of what happened has sparked some protests in New Delhi, where "angry fans burned a U.S. flag" on Sunday.

As the Times points out, one silver lining to the incident is that "Khan's upcoming film 'My Name is Khan,' a movie about an Indian Muslim setting out on a journey across the United States, is certain to get a boost."

The AP sums up the actor's career this way: "Khan, 44, has acted in more than 70 films, and has consistently topped popularity rankings in India for the past several years."

For those keeping tabs on such things, this is at least the third story in recent weeks about a celebrity's encounter with authorities who don't seem to know who he is. The previous cases involved Bob Dylan and Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates.

Update at 8:55 a.m. ET, Aug. 18. NPR's Philip Reeves says Khan "is to Bollywood what Brad Pitt is to Hollywood":

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