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    I had to fight for justice: Amisha Patel

    [Interview by Subhash K. Jha]
    Saturday, August 07, 2004
    Taking your parents to court is not an easy decision for any child, and it wasn''t for Amisha Patel either who says the entire episode has been painful but that she had been wronged and it was getting to be a "desperate situation".

    Amisha Patel, who has sued her father charging him with "mismanaging" her accounts and assets amounting to Rs.120 million and demanding the money back, said it was a longstanding problem and she had to go to court.

    She isn''t the first Bollywood actress to take her family to task. Years ago, Sarika took on her mother. But she stopped at simply walking out on her mother and home with nothing except a car in which she slept until she found another place to live in.

    Amisha''s parents have reportedly dragged in director Vikram Bhatt''s name in the sordid episode. But what is Vikram''s role in the family fracas?

    The director, who admits that "Amisha is more than a friend", says he is supporting her fight to recover her dues.

    "What''s wrong with that? Isn''t a friend supposed to stand by you in your hour of need?"

    "But the fight is between her and her family. I''m being made a whipping horse when her mother is being quoted as saying that I''m misguiding her. Amisha is an intelligent girl. She doesn''t need to be told what to do," Vikram goes on to add.

    "I''m glad she has taken this stand. Lots of actresses are ripped off by their family. They never speak out because they end up marrying rich guys and just go from one level of oblivious affluence to another. It''s very brave of Amisha to take a stand. Yes, we''re very serious about each other. But we''ve no immediate marriage plans," Vikram told IANS in an interview.

    As for Amisha, she says it has been a painful experience but it''s been a longstanding problem and she had to fight for justice.

    In this interview with IANS, Amisha speaks of her court battle against her parents, her relationship with Vikram

    Why have you taken legal action against your father?

    I'm not allowed to say much. But there's a financial problem. And it needed legal attention. This is exactly what I've done. Neither my secretary Rakesh Nath nor my friend Vikram Bhatt is in any way involved with this. They're just being made the scapegoats.

    People are specially blaming Vikram Bhatt?

    I don't think any sensible court of law would admit a case based on instigation. There has to be more to this than meets the eye. I'd like to say again that they're definitely making Vikram the scapegoat.

    You must have taken this decision after a great deal of deliberation?

    It's a longstanding problem. To have to resort to legal remedy means that it was a desperate situation. That should show the seriousness of the matter.

    Do you hope to recover your money from your parents?

    I don't know what will happen ultimately. I trust god will be on the side of the wronged. I think I had to fight for justice, whatever the outcome.

    Did you do this to set an example for star parents who are entrusted with financial freedom?

    No I'm not here to fight anyone's battle. I've been wronged. My voice had to be heard. The matter was serious enough. And I had to go to court. Yes, it's painful.

    Is your career suffering because of these personal hassles?

    Not in the least! Work is my balm. I've just finished my work in Ketan Mehta's "The Rising". It's one of the best films I've done. Such a fabulous line-up of technicians and artistes. Above all, I got the privilege of working with Aamir Khan. It's one of the best experiences of my life. I'm so glad I did it.

    I also have a biggie "Elaan" directed by Vikram Bhatt. For the first time I get to see the view from your side of the fence. I play a journalist in "Elaan". I also have "Humko Tum Se Pyar Hai" again directed by Vikram Bhatt.

    Are you planning to settle down with Vikram Bhatt?

    No plans to settle down right now. We're not getting married right now. We're very, very focused on our respective careers. Marriage is a long way away. Yes, I'm very close to Vikram Bhatt. Beyond that there's nothing more to be said right now.

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