Ranbir now chooses to break his silence over the social media-fueled drama and has come out with a statement.
It reads: "I've gotten to know Mahira in a personal capacity over the last few months. She is somebody who I admire and respect, for her achievements and even more for the person she is. It is very unfair the way she is being judged and spoken about. What is also sad is the inequality in judgment just because she is a woman. I request you to stop the negativity and move on with your beautiful god gifted lives. Peace and love."
He added: "PS: Both smoking and hate are injurious to health."
The pictures that went viral had Mahira dressed in a white short dress while the two shared a smoke.
After the pictures went viral and Mahira became the butt of criticism, Indian celebrities took to the social media platform against this prejudiced mindset. Speaking to PTI, Parineeti Chopra said "I'll just say one line. It's a little unfair. Everybody knows it's unfair and it'll stop. Today, because of social media, everything becomes too big a deal."
Varun Dhawan, who is busy promoting his upcoming film Judwaa 2, added: "Shame on them for shaming her."
Pakistani celebrities too came out in support of Mahira: