Soni Kaur
Mohar Basu (MID-DAY; July 4, 2017)

Bollywood is popularly considered an unkind industry, but Brit-born Indian actress Soni Kaur, who debuted with last week’s release Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha, claims she learnt this the hard way. The actress was promised “a massive launch” by filmmaker Suneel Darshan when he signed her on for the romantic thriller.

Kaur tells mid-day, “Suneel Darshan contacted me in October last year and I flew down to meet him. Soon after, he brought me on board to play Rita.” However, things went awry soon after the shoot was wrapped up. Kaur alleges that she stopped hearing from the filmmaker since the trailer launch. What made matters worse was that she was not even flown down for the premiere, as she was promised earlier. “I was informed about the film’s premiere only when I managed to get in touch with the production team. When they refused to book a ticket, I flew down for the event at my own expense.”

Kaur goes on to add that Darshan has been avoiding her ever since she came down to the city. “I’ve been here for a week and have repeatedly tried to get in touch with him, but he has stopped responding to my calls or messages. I have also watched the film, and most of my scenes have been chopped off. This isn’t what we’d agreed upon.”

Darshan had a different tale to tell. “She has a total of four dialogues in the film, why should I promise her a grand launch? And who I call for my film’s premiere, is my prerogative. As per our agreement, she isn’t allowed to speak to the press either. Clearly, she is doing all this for her two minutes of fame. I have done no wrong. She has been given whatever the contract promised her. As for her claims of me avoiding her, I have a legitimate office space in the city. She can take an appointment to come see me.”

Suneel Darshan