"I did my duty when they called."
Vijay Deverakonda was grilled by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) over the funding of his last release Liger.
This comes two weeks after filmmaker Puri Jagannadh and producer Charmee Kaur were also questioned about the funding for the film.
Following reports that money used to fund the film came from a foreign source, which is a violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) of 1999, the ED summoned Vijay to identify the financiers.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting on November 30, 2022, Vijay Deverakonda said he went and met the officials because it was his duty.
He added: “With great popularity comes challenges and there’s nothing you can do about it.
“But I see this as an experience. I did my duty when they called. I went and answered their questions.”
Vijay Deverakonda confirmed that he was questioned for 12 hours but did not say if he has been called again.
Two weeks ago, the Liger filmmaker-producer duo was also grilled for close to 12 hours.
A source said: “The ED officials wanted to know the name of the company or individuals who funded the movie.
“They strongly believe that the money used to fund the movie came from abroad.
“They’re investigating to check if any of this funding was in violation of FEMA.”
Reports also claim that some politicians invested ‘black money’ to fund the movie.
Liger was released in theatres on August 25, 2022.
The film also starred Ananya Panday, Ramya Krishnan, and Ronit Roy.
It was promoted widely as a pan-Indian film, especially after Karan Johar came on board to release the Hindi version.
However, the film did not do well at the box office and had a middling response from the audience, with most calling the film ‘formulaic’ and a ‘wasted opportunity’ for Vijay who spent three years on the project.
Liger became the biggest disaster of Vijay Deverakonda’s career which ruled out his chances of becoming the youngest pan-India star.
Liger was the Telugu actor’s Hindi debut.
The film also starred American boxing legend, Mike Tyson.
Meanwhile, Vijay Deverakonda will also be seen in an upcoming romantic drama film Khusi alongside Samantha Ruth Prabhu.
The film is all set to hit the theatres on December 23, 2022.
Vijay Deverakonda debuted with the Telugu film Nuvvila in 2011.
He shot to nationwide fame with Arjun Reddy which was released in 2017.