Father of Slumdog Millionaire Child Star Accused of Trying to Sell Daughter
Tue, 21 Apr 2009 13:17:28
The father of 9-year-old Slumdog Millionaire star Rubina Ali is being investigated by Indian police after accusations that he tried to sell his daughter for conflicting sums that range from $290,000 to $400,000 American dollars.
The child's mother, Khurshid Begum, complained to police that her ex-husband was trying to sell the girl and put her up for adoption at a price after she saw reports on television about a British sting operation related to the matter. Ali and her father, Rafiq Qureshi, were taken to a police station on Sunday night and questioned. Their statements were recorded. Ali, who portrayed a younger version of the Oscar-winning film's heroine Latika, lives with her father and stepmother in a poverty-stricken slum in the suburbs. The family denied that it was trying to sell the girl and chalks the accusation up to an attempt to tarnish and/or cash in on the little girl's name in the wake of her success, even though she is still living in squallor. Qureshi claims that he was lured to a posh Mumbai hotel by people claiming they were moved by his daughter's story and wanted to help her. He also claims these people are framing him and that it is all part of a plot by Begum, who is estranged from Ali, to re-enter the girl's life and take custody in the wake of her newfound fame.
Additionally, the filmmakers have set up a fund for Ali's education.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff