'Pic Was Cropped, Am Being Made Scapegoat,' Says Man In Viral Photo With Aaliya Siddiqui

Peeyush Pandey also said that he has been advised legal action (Courtesy Peeyush Pandey)


  • “I shouldn’t be dragged into a family tussle,” said Peeyush Pandey
  • He was named by tabloids as the third in an alleged romantic triangle
  • “I feel targeted,” he told NDTV

New Delhi:

“I shouldn’t be dragged into a family tussle which has nothing to do with me,” media professional Peeyush Pandey told NDTV after being named by tabloids as the third in an alleged romantic triangle that has supposedly wrecked actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s marriage. The week in entertainment news has been dominated by headlines about the 46-year-old actor being served a divorce notice by Aaliya, his wife of just over a decade. Mr Siddiqui, who is visiting family in his hometown of Budhana in Uttar Pradesh and is in quarantine for two weeks, has maintained a dignified silence about the impending divorce as well as about the rumours; Aaliya Siddiqui joined Twitter just days ago to dismiss rumours of an affair and to discredit a viral picture that appears to show her and Peeyush Pandey together.

The picture is question was taken at a party where 20-odd other guests were present, Mr Pandey told NDTV, adding that it had been cropped and was being used to “malign” him and “tarnish” his image. “This picture has three people and somebody has just cropped the third person out and has only used mine and Aaliya’s to suggest as if there is something between us – Which is simply ridiculous,” he said.

Peeyush Pandey also said that he has been advised legal action which he may consider pursuing after the lockdown lifts. “I feel targeted and being dragged into something which has nothing to do with me. It’s just so grossly unfair that I am being made a scapegoat here,” he said. He was reluctant to clarify who he thinks is making a scapegoat of him, saying that his intent was not to accuse anyone but to present his “side of actualities.” Mr Pandey has been professionally associated with Nawazuddin Siddiqui for some years and says he has met and interacted with Aaliya Siddiqui through her husband.

Aaliya Siddiqui, in tweets, dismissed the viral photo as “manipulated” and rubbished rumours that she is currently in a romantic relationship outside her marriage.

Speaking to Indian Express earlier this week, Aaliya Siddiqui said that the marriage had been rocky all through the 10 years that she and Nawazuddin Siddiqui have been married. “I won’t be able to speak on the issues right away, but yes, we have been having problems from the last ten years. Now, during the lockdown, I got thinking and thought I had to end this marriage. I had sent him the notice much before he left for Muzaffarnagar, and he has not yet replied to my notice, so I have to take a legal route now,” she said. Ms Siddiqui mailed and WhatsApped the divorce notice to her husband and says she has not received a reply.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui reached Budhana, in the Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh, last weekend after applying for and receiving permission to travel. He is currently under the mandatory two-week home quarantine. Mr Siddiqui’s sister died some months ago and, as he revealed in a tweet, his mother has been recently subject to panic attacks.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui is known for his roles in acclaimed films such as Gangs Of Wasseypur and Manto, mainstream offerings like Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Raees, and TV shows like Sacred Games. His latest film Ghoomketu just released on ZEE5.

Nawazuddin and Aaliya Siddiqui married in 2009 and have two children.