Until October 3, Aryan Khan was best known as Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s oldest son who bore an uncanny resemblance to his superstar father.
But his identity saw a tectonic shift when news emerged that the 23-year-old was arrested by Narcotics Control Bureau in Mumbai following a drug bust aboard a cruise ship headed for Goa. Before his arrest, he was detained for hours and questioned by the NCB.
Aryan, whose Instagram account is filled with rakish pictures of him with his friends, is now reportedly being questioned by the anti-narcotics cell in India and his phone is also allegedly being examined in the case. He is among eight passengers who were questioned by the authorities for over 22 hours.
Who exactly is Aryan Khan?
As the investigation around the drug bust gathers momentum in Mumbai, we look into his life and times before he gained inglorious notoriety.
First things first, Aryan isn’t one of those celebrity kids who thrive on over-sharing their lives on social media. His posts on his verified Instagram account are sparse and usually feature him looking carefully careless and cool.
Like most twenty-something young men his age, cracking a goofy smile isn’t a part of his online persona.
There’s very little known about him, but here’s what we know so far: he’s an aspiring film director and isn’t keen on being in front of the camera.
As a kid, he was a part of a Karan Johar’s glossy family drama ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham’ in which he played the role of his father’s character’s younger self. A scene of him as a young boy in Johar’s ‘Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna’ didn’t make it past the edit table.
Aryan, whose best friends include Sanjay and Maheep Kapoor’s daughter Shanaya Kapoor and Ahaan Panday, was born in New Delhi and is a portrait of a privileged Bollywood star-kid with immense access to wealth, pedigree, and powerful friends.
Aryan did his schooling from London’s Sevenoaks and his classmates included Amitabh Bachchan’s grand daughter Navya Naveli Nanda. He later attended the University of Southern California and revealed on his Instagram account that he had successfully graduated.
His lack of inclination to feature in front of the camera is evident by his recent career moves. Recently, he did a voice-over for the character of ‘Simba’ in the Hindi version of the Hollywood hit ‘The Lion King’ and his father gave voice to Mufasa in the same film. In 2004, he dubbed the dialogues for his character in ‘Hum Lajawab Hain’ and also received an award as the best dubbing child artist for the same.
While Aryan is yet to give his first interview to the media, his father Shah Rukh Khan — known for his witty demeanour — has always been open about his close bond with his children. In David Letterman’s show ‘My Next Guest Needs No Introduction’, Shah Rukh Khan spoke extensively about his children.
“He looks nice, he’s tall and...okay. But I don’t think he has what it takes perhaps and he realises that himself. But he is a good writer,” said the doting father. In several interviews, Shah Rukh Khan also made it clear that his son is keen to become a movie director rather than an actor who invites all the adulation and worship.
While Aryan is still being detained by the NCB, with social media flooded with tweets and pictures of the young talent, it remains to be seen if his influential father will speak up on the issue in the coming days.