Truckers' Stop, Ludhiana-Mumbai Highway, Apr 23 - When she was literally swept off her feet by the ever-graying Richard Gere at a rally against AIDS, 'Big Brother' show winner and semi-successful Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty today returned hell, fire and brimstone worthy of a woman scorned at those who want to be her big brothers in real life.
In a strong reaction to the burning of her effigies and pictures by a twenty-thousand-member strong mob in Mumbai, the actress called a press conference at one of the wayside stops that line the highway where reporters were treated to tall glasses of lassi, rotis and belly dancers. Shilpa herself took center-stage with a raunchy item from one of her flops.
'All Indians are not my brothers and sisters,' she claimed later (incidentally, a claim disputed by her parents) quoting the Indian pledge, 'and those who humiliated me should never come to see my movies again.'
To this reporter's question about her future, at least as far as movies were concerned, she replied that the question was irrelevant. 'The real issue is the charge of indecency leveled at me and that wonderful, sensitive, caring, compassionate and filthy rich Richie. He's already rang me up five times during the night, asking me if I was all right, if I had used protection...'
She also pointed out that she had done far more titillating things with her male actors on the screen than what had happened with Gere, on stage at least. 'When I prance around in a bikini in snow or rain, they drool over me. But I just bend over backwards for Richie, and they call me all sorts of things. I didn't take it from that English b***h Jade, and I won't take it from anybody else either.'
However, Ms.Shetty was adamant that the whole incident was not stage-managed to give her greater publicity. 'I have my honor to think of, my parents' honor to think of, and if you think that I will stoop so low as to arrange things for my benefit either here or back in London, you don't know the real Shilpa. All I wanted to do was something meaningful, like promote safe sex with the sexiest man in the world - and maybe even marry him later on - but see what the media has made of it.'
A visibly indignant Ms.Shetty was later escorted away from the scene by her manager before she could set fire to a reporter from one of the TV news channels who had spilled some alcohol on himself. - Dissociated Press.
Editor's note : We apologize for providing outdated file photos of Ms.Shetty. The pictures that were taken at the press conference have been deemed unfit for publishing and so shall remain my personal property.