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J.P. Dutta upset with reports, retorts...

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By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM
Friday, November 24, 2006
A report stating that J.P. Dutta has paid Abhishek Bachchan a mere Rs 5 lakhs for his role in Umrao Jaan has the filmmaker withdrawing into an angry and hurt shell. "I'd not like to say anything on this. Why don't you ask Abhishek and Ash what they've been paid? Abhishek is like my own child. And I'd certainly not exploit him. What I object to is the statement that I normally don't pay my stars. That's not just untrue but defamatory. My lawyers are looking into taking action," says JP, and clams up.

The Movie Moghul's wife Bindiya is forthright in her comments on the pay issue. "No one out here is doing anything for charity. When everyone is looking at a profit why would JP deprive his cast and crew of their just remuneration? Enough canards has been spread about him not paying his stars."

Bindiya gets emotional. "Even during LOC JP was accused of not paying his stars. We kept hearing rumours of this or that star grumbling about non-payment. No one came and directly told us that we hadn't paid them. They couldn't because it wasn't true."

She sighed, "Enough is enough. There's a limit to how much JP will be attacked for being who he is. Just because he doesn't retaliate people think they can get away with saying anything. He makes his films exactly the way he wants, and with the actors he wants. If Umrao Jaan hasn't succeeded in India it doesn't mean people have the right to make any statement they want."

Adds a source from JP, "JP Saab made Ash look glamorous dressed from head to toe. He respects women. That's why he made a film on the story of the ultimate courtesan even though everyone warned him it wasn't commercially feasible. Heroine-oriented films have never had it easy at our box-office. Pakeezah worked only because of Meena Kumari's death."

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