Govinda and David Dhawan ruled the box office in the '90s with 17 films. The filmmaker made his directorial debut in 1989 with Taaqatwar starring Govinda. The director-actor duo went on to give blockbusters like Shola Aur Shabnam, Saajan Chale Sasural, Hero No 1, Coolie No 1, Dulhe Raja and Bade Miyan Chote Miyan. Partner which released in 2007, was their last film together. Govinda, for the first time, in India TV's Aap Ki Adalat revealed why he broke up with his long-time friend director David Dhawan, with whom he had done 17 hit films.
When India TV' Editor-in-Chief Mr. Rajat Sharma asked why he has stopped speaking to David Dhawan for the last several years, Govinda replied: "He can ask me this question only when his son (Varun Dhawan) makes 17 films with him. I do not think his son will ever do 17 films with him, because he is, after all, David Dhawan's son. He is educated. I never realized the meaning of doing 17 films with a director.
"It was Sanjay Dutt who told me to give work to a fellow Punjabi (David Dhawan). I used to give work to fellow Punjabis at that time. I liked David and did many hit films with him. I did not even treat my relatives so well as I treated him. Even with my brother, who is a director, I did not do 17 films."
On the incident that led to the breakup, Govinda revealed: "After I left politics, I told my secretary to keep the phone speaker on, so that I could listen what he (David Dhawan) was saying. I heard, David saying, Chi-Chi (Govinda's nickname) is questioning a lot. He was telling my secretary, I do not want to work with Govinda any more. Tell him to do some small bit roles.
"This shocked me and I decided never to work with him. After 4-5 months, I again rang him up just to find out if he would give me a guest appearance in his film. He then never rang me back. I am revealing this in public after so many years. I think he is under somebody's influence. I do not think he is that same David Dhawan whom I used to know. "
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