Priyanka Chopra is very close to my heart: Shah Rukh Khan

The 'friendship' between Bollywood superstars Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra has made headlines for almost a year now. While there have been media reports of Chopra being cornered by star wives and being shunned by Bollywood A-listers like Karan Johar, SRK has remained silent, until now.

In a recent interview to CNN IBN, Shah Rukh finally broke his silence and spoke of his relationship with Priyanka Chopra and his reaction to the reports about her. The actor said he was 'sorry' because Priyanka had not been given the respect that she deserves.

Priyanka Chopra exiting SRK's Khar office with him at around 3.15 am on 18 Jan, 2012. Firstpost

"To me what is most disturbing is that a lady who has worked with me has been questioned and somewhere down the line has not been shown the respect that I show her, or to all women. I think it is disrespectful and I am extremely sorry about that, sorry means not because of the things that I have done but because she is a friend," Khan said.

Speaking about the relationship they share, Shah Rukh said that she is extremely 'close to his heart'  and they are very close friends.

"She is one of the closest friends and she is very close to my heart, and will always be. I just feel, sometimes when things are said, I needed to step back from it, because I find it very banal, and very small and very minimal, and you know it tends to spoil relationships that people share while working together."

Talking fondly about Priyanka he said,  "She was a little girl who started her Miss World crowning with me. We have shared some of the nicest moments onscreen and off it. It is extremely unfortunate for me, you know, a friendship gets a little spoilt. "

When asked if the rumours affected their relationships, he said, "Not at all. she is matured beyond her years to deal with it."

However, he did take a dig at not only at the media but also on all those industry bigwigs who had outrightly slammed Chopra.

"But having said that I think we all rush into giving names to relationships, without even understanding it at times, and that's the strange part not only of media, but of all of us," Khan said.