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    I have been framed in this: Shakti Kapoor

    [Interview by Manisha Deshpande]
    Tuesday, March 15, 2005
    Claiming he was "framed" by the television channel that filmed him purportedly propositioning an aspiring actress, Shakti Kapoor said he has apologized to the Film Producer''s Guild for his remarks against certain Bollywood fellow actors.

    "I have sent a letter of apology to the guild and also issued an apology to those actresses, if they feel I have faltered in any way," said Shakti Kapoor.

    The Bollywood film baddie, who had reportedly named fellow actors and filmmakers as indulging in the "casting couch syndrome", said: "I think the members of the guild are a bit upset by the reactions of some known actresses in the industry on the issue."

    The Film Producers Guild issued a ban on the actor Monday.

    In an interview the actor gave his own version. Following are excerpts:

    Does that (apology) mean that you are feeling sorry and are taking responsibility for what was reported on the channel?

    Not in the least. I have sent the apology letter because I did not want to offend any feelings in whatever I had said on the issue so far. It is very obvious that the channel has framed me in the whole episode.

    The truth is that this particular journalist was chasing me for almost three months and even indulging in obscene talk in the middle of the night. She pretended to be desperate for work and even threatened to commit suicide when I refused to entertain her pleas. When I finally did agree, she called me in a hotel where she already had her cameras all set up to trap me.

    I am also not sure about what I was made to drink. Besides her version was very conveniently edited in the film, which was obvious in the way it was shown. The fact is that it was a very cheap gimmick to bring into focus a non-happening channel like India TV I can also see some ulterior motives of other people involved in this, including the people whom I have spoken against.

    There was a report in the media some time back about a certain television personality being very upset with you for the remarks you had made against him when he criticized you while you were doing election campaigning?

    I was told by my friends that this could be a case of personal vendetta, knowing that the television personality is close to the bosses at India TV since I had spoken bluntly against him at that point of time.

    Do you think the ban imposed by the guild will affect your working relationship with producers in the industry?

    I don't think it will affect my work at all. The guild comprises a handful of producers like Subhash Ghai and Yash Chopra, though all of them have a very notable reputation in the industry. I am not working with any of them nor have I signed up any of their forthcoming projects.

    Besides, I have got the support of the other associations and practically 75 percent of the industry, right from Govinda to David Dhawan, Pahlaj Nihalani and others. They are all aware of the fact that I have been framed in this. It is also a lesson to the artistes and producers of the industry that a channel can go to any limits to make headline news.

    How has your family reacted to this?

    They are definitely upset. My children are grown up and it is a bit disturbing for them to see something like this but like other sensational stories this story too will be forgotten in due course.

    There was a time when I did have a reputation for being an outrageous flirt but, come on, I am well past my middle age now and I have grown up children. The channel has probably taken advantage of my reputation in the past.


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