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    Kal Ho Na Ho
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    Aug 2008


    Default Drunk hotelier abuses Bipasha

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    Bipasha Basu came down to Delhi for what was expected to be just another promotional activity by a celeb. It turned out to be anything but that,

    as accusations of starry tantrums, breach of contract, abusive behaviour, harassment – many of them contradictory – flew around. Bipasha and Shemaroo say that she was being coerced into being part of the hotel chairman’s birthday celebrations. The chairman, Ashok Mittal, predictably denies this. TOI brings you all sides of the story

    ‘Mittal was sloshed, abusive and threatening’
    Bipasha’s PR team’s take: “Initially, Bipasha was supposed to release the DVD in Delhi on February 4 and in Mumbai on February 5, but since John had time on the fourth, they launched the DVD in Mumbai first.
    We met Ashok Mittal for the event and he agreed to sponsor the entire launch. He also said that since it’s his birthday on the 5th, he’d like Bipasha to come for his birthday party and cut the cake. We told him that actors charge a fee for such events and that Bipasha too would ask for that. Then he said that he’d sponsor the launch, which would include, besides the rooms, tickets, backdrop, projector, light and sound, ground travel and security. Ashok Mittal said that he can only give his BMW for ground transport and I should arrange for the rest. We gave him an estimated bill of Rs 2.9 lakh for the entire arrangement. He initially gave a cheque for one lakh, but the day the cheque had to be encashed, there was a stop payment order on it.
    We called Bobby, who was handling event management for them. He came to meet us, requested that we get the event done smoothly and gave another cheque of Rs 1 lakh. This cheque was cleared, but now, we were a bit apprehensive. We were told that we’d be paid the pending amount as soon as Bipasha reached the hotel.

    But when Bipasha came and was through with her press conference, Ashok Mittal asked for her to come and join him in his celebrations. It was around 11.30 and Bipasha had already retired for the day and was fast asleep. Mittal called his hotel security and asked them to surround Bipasha’s room. The bouncers that had been hired for

    Bipasha’s security from our side, were thrown out of the hotel and the hotel staff misbehaved
    with them.Mittal, who was completely sloshed, then started a heated argument with us and used inappropriate language for Bipasha and demanded that Bipasha be called outside. He was accompanied by some goons who brandished guns and they even misbehaved with the senior management from Shemaroo, Bipasha’s partners in the DVD venture.

    He then started talking in a filthy language with everyone and said, “Give me Rs 25 lakh right now or call the sl** out.” It was then that the Shemaroo MD took matters in his own hands and paid Mittal Rs 10,40,000 by credit card immediately. However, the Mittals then called the media to her room, alleging that she had asked for Rs 30 lakh and began cooking all sorts of stories about her.She left the hotel at 5 in the morning, with the media still camped outside her room.”

    ‘Hotel staff asked us to leave’
    One of Bipasha’s security guards says: “Ashok Mittal was involved in a heated argument with Danny outside the lift near Bipasha’s room. They were talking about their contract. When they came and asked for her, we told them that Madam had already been sleeping for over an hour and it was impossible to disturb her. But Mittal kept insisting that they at least make him speak to her on the phone. But everyone refused. At this point, over a dozen people came, including staff members, and asked us to leave the hotel.We left the hotel at around 1.30 in the night and came back at 6 in the morning. By that time, madam had already left.”

    ‘ Bipasha had not come here for anybody’s birthday’
    Hiren Gada, director, Shemaroo Entertainment, says: “It is usual in promotional events such as this to have a venue partner. And accordingly, we had drawn up a contract with the Ramada Plaza people. The after party attendance of Bipasha was also agreed upon as part of the whole deal. But nowhere was it mentioned that it was the hotel’s chairman, Ashok Mittal’s birthday, and that Bipasha will have to be part of that too and cut a cake. Everything was going smoothly, in fact, at the press conference, even Mrs Mittal was called on stage, and Bipasha had then told her that she will be down in some time.
    After the conference, when Bipasha was, in fact, getting ready to come down to the party, the hotel manager went and told her that it was the chairman’s birthday and that she would have to cut a cake with him for that. Bipasha very politely said that this is not what she had come here for, and that whatever was need in relation to the launch of the DVD, she has already done that. We met Mr Mittal at the lift lobby at around 11 pm. He was drunk out of his wits – sloshed is the word. He told us ‘mein jaata hoon aur bolta hoon neeche aane ko.’ We told him that won’t help, and cited an example, saying that stars charge money for such things. But he began to abuse us. We said we’re willing to settle things amicably. He drew up a bill of a huge amount. We paid it immediately without any questions. After all this, they told the media all sorts of wrong things. They threw out the security staff we had hired for the event and Bipasha’s security and gave the media people present there her room number at 1.20 in the night. Things only got uglier from there on, and we told the waiting media people that she will make a statement in the morning before leaving, and Bipasha did that at 5.30 in the morning. She told them she had fulfilled her part of the commitment. There is a contract, and there is a spirit of things. After we settled the bill, the hotel staff is telling everyone that we still owe some money. I have the breakup, we paid them Rs 7,53,395 for the event and Rs 2,90,000 for the logistical costs.
    It is they who still have to give us 1,10,000 of the promised four lakhs.”

    Tanuja, Bipasha’s publicist, says: “Our friend helped us get out of the hostage-like situation in 2 cars, a Honda City and a D’zire was arranged by him to drop us to the airport.”

    ‘We got a call at 2.30 am for vehicles’

    The friend who sent Bipasha the cars in the morning, says: “Bipasha’s a friend. We got a call at around 2-2.30 in the night and they said that they needed cars to go to the airport in the morning. At that point, I called my office staff in Delhi and sent them a couple of cars for Bipasha. In fact, these were my personal cars.”

    ‘Hamara toh image hi kharaab ho gaya’

    Ashok Mittal, chairman, Ramada Plaza, says: “The deal was that we will be the hospitality partners, and as part of the deal, we were to give free room, suites, boarding and lodging, high tea for 150, dinner for 100 people, the banquet hall for the press conference complimentary, plus Rs 4 lakhs to the organisers. And the contract that we drew up was that she will come down to the party at 10.30 pm, for a minimum of 15 minutes.

    The story of her being heckled is nonsense. From the time she landed at 12 pm till the 5.30 in the morning on Saturday, when we finally facilitated her safe exit from the hotel room because mediapersons were waiting for her right outside her room, I haven’t met her even once. In fact, when she landed, I sent my personal car – the BMW – to get her picked up and later, gave her a car to ensure she’s safely dropped at the airport in the morning.

    Everything was fine till 9 pm. At 10.30 she was supposed to come down to the party as planned. At 10.55, I checked, and was told that she was coming down in 10-15 minutes. Then it turned to 11.30, so I decided to go and take a look myself. At the lift lobby on Bipasha’s floor, I met three or four people – from Shemaroo, and a lady, who told me ‘Iss kaam ke liye toh woh 30 lakh rupiye leti hai.’ Later, I discovered that the lady is Tanuja, Bipasha’s PR. I had a friend with me, he said we will lose face. Please take 4-5 lakh rupees more and ask her to come down. But she did not agree to this. Hamara toh image kharab ho hi gaya tha, but I did not want a scuffle. So I told them, in that case, pay the bill of whatever cost has been incurred and excuse me out of this whole mess. They paid the bill immediately, it was 10.44 lakh, via credit card. Then, we informed the press. And then, I went my way. The press must’ve got upset, I don’t know how they got her room number, but they all went and began to bang on the door. I came to know of this at around 1.30 am. I got concerned for Bipasha’s safety and since the hotel rules say that we cannot have outside security people after a certain point in the night, we got our guards to guard Bipasha’s room. And in the morning, we also ensured that she was safely dropped off to the airport.”



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