Barely had director Deepak Shivdasani woken up to the fact that he had a hit in "Julie" when trouble reared its head.
An actress called Shalini Kapoor now claims that the director has unlawfully used her picture in "Julie".
"First of all, I had no idea what this was all about. I didn't know who Shalini Kapoor was," Shivdasani told IANS.
"In fact, I still don't know how this started. Kapoor claims I've used her picture in 'Julie'. She's referring to a sequence where Priyanshu Chatterjee's father sends a prospective bride's picture on the e-mail. The photo on the e-mail turned out to be that of Kapoor. I had no clue as to who she was. My assistant went and got the picture.
"Subsequently, I got to know she was once upon a time a leading lady introduced by Raj Sippy. When her career didn't take off she apparently took to television serials...And now she's gone on television to complain about my so-called crime against her! I got her number and called her to fix an appointment.
"She didn't turn up at the appointed time. She finally turned up a couple of hours late at my office to tell me she had been badgered by people who presume there was more of her in 'Julie' than just the picture on the e-mail and that her role had been cut on the editing table.
"She said that one picture had made her life hell. But my intention was certainly not to harass her in any way. If I wanted to create a flutter, I'd have used Aishwarya Rai's picture. In my last film, 'Yeh Raaste Hai Pyar Ke', I used character actress Reema Lagoo's picture.
"I didn't even know who Shalini Kapoor was. She claims to be part of the TV industry. But I haven't seen any of her serials."
Shivdasani pauses for breath. "She says she wants compensation. I asked her to please define compensation. Is it Re.1 or Rs.10 million? She didn't say. She was carrying the newspaper that had published the news about her. When she showed me the news I thanked her for more tickets of 'Julie' being sold."
"But seriously, I don't know why she went to the press for such a trivial matter when I was more than willing to meet her and make whatever amends she wanted.
"I'm a clean guy. What does she want? What does she want to discuss with her lawyers? She threatened to take me to court. Let her. I am ready to go behind bars for this crime. Thank god I didn't show her picture in a bad light!"
The controversy comes close on the heels of Madhur Bhandarkar's run-in with model Preeti Jain, who says she had sex with the former for five years in return for the promise of a role in a film.