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    Priyanka Chopra's former manager files criminal case

    [Interview by Subhash K. Jha]
    Tuesday, October 05, 2004
    Priyanka Chopra''s former manager, Prakash Jaju, is breathing fire against the actress.

    Jaju, who says Priyanka violated their legal contract when she unceremoniously announced that his services had been terminated, has lodged a criminal suit against her in an Andheri court in Mumbai.

    The former manager says he got wild when he checked Priyanka''s mobile bills and "found she was talking incessantly to Harman Baweja", producer Harry Baweja''s son.

    Asked what was his interest in Priyanka, Jaju told IANS: "To see she managed her career well, nothing else. Since I had decided to look after her work everyone was watching how it was doing. It was a matter of my reputation."

    Excerpts from the interview:

    What made you take such a drastic step against your former client?

    For the last 15-20 years I've been a finance broker. At any given time I finance around 40 films. Her father approached me to look after her career. I used my resources to get her films. I pumped in lots of money into her projects.
    "Mujhse Shaadi Karogi" was totally financed by our company. I treated her like my child.

    Why should you interfere with her personal life?

    There's nothing like personal and professional life in the film industry. If you are engrossed in your personal life, then when will you work?

    But surely a 22-year-old is entitled to have a personal life!

    Then one should manage one's personal life well. I never stopped her from having an affair. If she kept getting distracted wasn't it my duty to check her? Her parents point it out to her when she's making mistakes. Does she tell them to leave the house?

    I feel affairs ruin a budding actress' career. I'll give you her mobile bills. She spent hours talking on it. I'd call her for something important and her phone would be engaged. There'd sometimes be as many as 20-30 calls. She couldn't disconnect her talk with Harman (producer Harry Baweja's son) to ask what I wanted.

    So what was your interest in her?

    To see she managed her career well, nothing else. Since I had decided to look after her work, everyone was watching how it was doing. It was a matter of my reputation.

    If that girl talks whole nights on the phone then what work will she do in the mornings? Everyone complained that she was glued to her cell phone all the time.

    But as her manager what gave you the right to correct her all the time?

    Who had the time to correct her all the time? I did tell her to stop what I thought was wrong. I wanted her to make something of her career. Instead when I checked her mobile bills I found she was talking incessantly to Harman Baweja.

    So what's wrong with that? They're both single!

    So why is she hiding it? Let her come out in the open. She has denied it even in your interview.

    That's her business.

    Let me show you her bills. She's been talking non-stop to Harman. Whenever she neglected my calls I would get very angry. Who do you think got her a film opposite Salman and Akshay Kumar? Don't you think she should've respected me for all I've done?

    What's your grievance against her?

    See, I've been working for her for four years. I had other plans for her. Her father apparently wants her to be a singer. All the time he keeps singing. He told me some time back that if she doesn't succeed as an actress then she could be a singer.

    What sort of a contract do you have with Priyanka Chopra?

    Her mother told me to look after her career until she gets married. I have a legal contract with Priyanka. And she has gone against it.

    My contract with her states she has to give me six months' notice before relieving me of my work. She suddenly sent off an SMS to everyone saying my services had been terminated. Her father issued a notice in the trade interviews.

    Are you willing to compromise?

    She shouldn't have sent off an SMS to everyone. She should've told me confidentially that we weren't getting along.

    Now people in the industry believe I've been sacked by her. She has insulted me. I feel angry. Now I won't leave the money that she owes me.

    She's young. You should be more tolerant.

    What about the way she has behaved. Her parents are doing all this. She could've sent an SMS to tell everyone that I'm still looking after her work. After a few months I'd have left her work voluntarily. I sent her 150 SMS messages to this effect.

    150 messages!

    Yes, I advised her to tell everyone that our differences had been sorted out. But she never responded. That is because her father got interested in looking after her career.

    With me around the father was totally cut off. I think her father is the person most responsible for this game.

    You cared for her like a daughter. Why harass her now?

    You don't understand. Why did she issue a public notice? That warned off all the producers against me and gave the impression that I was kicked out. The matter has become worse, thanks to her father.

    Why punish the daughter for the father?

    The only solution is that she sign a fresh contract with me. If not then I want monetary compensation for the four years that I worked for her. Saying sorry won't do. I even sacrificed my commission of Rs.2.5 million ($54,540) for 'Mujhse Shaadi Karogi' so she could get the film.


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