'Slumdog' child star's father denies trying to sell her

20th April 2009, Comments 0 comments

The father of “Slumdog Millionare” child actress Rubina Ali denies claims that he tried to sell his daughter for a reported EUR 310,000.

Mumbai – The father of "Slumdog Millionaire" child actress Rubina Ali has denied trying to sell his daughter, after a British newspaper claimed he was willing to put her up for adoption at a price.

Indian media said Monday that Rafiq Qureshi described the News of the World report on Sunday as lies, although he accepted meeting a man claiming to be from the Middle East who approached them with an offer for the nine-year-old.

The man, posing as a wealthy Arab sheikh, was in fact a reporter at the weekly tabloid. The tactic has been employed successfully in the past in sting operations against the rich and famous in Britain.

"They kept saying we will give you a lot of benefits and it will be good for your daughter, but I declined," Qureshi was quoted as telling reporters. "The reports that I wanted to sell Rubina are false."

Rubina, who played the young Latika in the hit film and still lives in Mumbai's teeming slums, was also quoted as saying: "I want to remain with (my father)."

The News of the World claimed Qureshi demanded 20 million rupees (EUR 310,000) for Rubina during a meeting with the "sheikh" at a Mumbai hotel.

He allegedly complained that the family had not made any money out of the film, which won eight Oscars in February, including the coveted best picture.

Rubina's mother, Kursheed, who is separated from Qureshi, has now filed a complaint against him with police and claimed she had heard about his intention from their eldest daughter about two weeks ago, according to Indian media.

"I did not believe he would actually agree to it," she was quoted as saying.

AFP / Expatica

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