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Mallika Sherawat shuns media after expose

By Hindol Sengupta, IANS

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After being called a fibber by her father, India's brashest new actress is keeping the media at bay.

Mallika Sherawat, star of this summer big hit film "Murder", has stopped answering her mobile phone after a newspaper published an interview with her father where he dismissed his daughter's claims of ill treatment.

"She has nothing to say," Sherawat's publicist Parull Gossain, who now answers her phone, told IANS from Mumbai.

"She refuses to be pulled down into this media game, she just has no comments. Whatever her father is supposed to have said is his business. Mallika does not want to comment on them."

Trouble is till yesterday Sherawat was the media's darling. Bold, like no other Hindi film actress has ever been, her quotes matched the titillating roles she played on screen.

From 17 smooches in her first film "Khwaish" to dare-bare scenes in sex-thriller "Murder", Sherawat's films have been hailed as dawning a new, bold Bollywood.

And, with quotes like "I'm like Viagra for the audience", she chose to court hype and media attention.

Sketchy about her personal life, Sherawat repeatedly spoke of coming from a "conservative Jat family where women are kept in the backyard with the cattle".

"My father hates the films that I do and hasn't spoken to me for two years after I ran away and joined the film industry," Sherawat, whose real name is Reema Lamba, recently told this reporter in an interview.

Her father, Mukesh Kumar Lamba, however, told The Indian Express, that he regularly talks and meets his daughter and is astounded by her statements. He also said Mallika told him one needs to do such things to get ahead in filmdom.

"I don't know why she is saying these things," Lamba was quoted as saying. "Perhaps it's the way the film business works."

Sherawat created waves with her strip tease acts on celluloid and has been declared a youth icon by CNN.

The expose also revealed that she had divorced her first husband.

Mallika has always said she is unmarried, a bit of a contradiction for a woman who once blasted Hindi film heroines for their hypocrisy.

"I have nothing to hide and I'm here to stay," Sherawat once said.


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