Thursday, August 30, 2007
There seems to be no respite from controversies for veteran film critic and columnist Subhash Jha. Weeks after being dragged into a sexual harassment case by singer Sonu Nigam, he has been accused of lifting an article on Pink Panther 2, featuring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, published in a Mumbai tabloid.
The write-up is regarding counter-claims by Pink Panther casting director Ilene Starger and Aishwarya's international manager Simone Sheffield insisting that the actress was the first choice for the role and not Shilpa Shetty, as the latter's publicist and spokesperson Dale Bhagwagar had claimed.
Jha's article appeared with a "Copyright 2007 Indo Asian News Service (IANS)" in the print media, including English newspaper "DNA", and websites "nowrunning.com", "indiainteracts.com", "indiaenews.com" and "newkerala.com" on August 27.
Some of the quotes, like the following one, seem the same line to line. "Her intelligence, grace, beauty and sophistication are just what the role requires. And, of course, she has a touch of mystery too. She fits in wonderfully with our fantastic ensemble cast, and all of us involved with the film are thrilled to work with her," Jha quotes Starger in what he claims is "an email interview". Jha even quotes Aishwarya's international manager Simone Sheffield saying "Negotiations went on for a month to secure Aishwarya and her dates", word to word the same as in the story that the tabloid had carried.
We guess, Jha should step forward and clear his stand before he gets mired in yet another dispute.a