In showbiz, it is said even negative publicity is good for your career. Struggling starlet Tarina Patel has bagged a Bollywood film in the wake of a much publicised incident. Tarina is the wife of South African businessman Iqbal Sharma who made news following his spat with actor Saif Ali Khan in a Mumbai restaurant on February 21. An actor, who has struggled for roles in Bollywood, Tarina will now feature in a prop role in comedy caper 'Malamaal Weekly 2' , starring Nana Patekar and Shreyas Talpade.
The film is the sequel to Priyadarshan's 2006 hit, 'Malamaal Weekly' , and is currently being shot in Wai, a village near Mumbai. "Tarina was seen shooting in Wai along with Nana and Shreyas. The shooting has been going on since the last few weeks," a source said. The starlet had been trying her luck in Mumbai during the past few years and had essayed small roles in films such as 'Bhool Bhulaiyya' , 'Just Married , 'Dhol' and 'Dus Kahaniyaan'. Tarina is best recalled as the "girl in a golden bikini" in the episodic Dus Kahaniyaan — in the segment titled Sex On The Beach along with Dino Morea.
Following the brawl, when Iqbal had lodged a police complaint against Saif, Tarina was seen liberally giving interviews to the media. She alleged that her husband and father were bashed up and bullied by Saif and his friends. According to Tarina and Iqbal, Saif along with his girlfriend Kareena Kapoor, Malaika Arora Khan, producer Bilal Amrohi and Shakeel Ladakh (husband of Malaika's sister Amrita) were creating a ruckus inside the restaurant. When Iqbal asked them to lower their voices, Saif lost his cool and punched the businessman, leaving him with a fractured nose, they alleged. Tarina had vehemently denied that this was a mere publicity stunt.
"We don't need any kind of publicity in this way," Tarina had said, after Kareena, in one of her interviews, said Tarina and her husband were trying to gain mileage from the episode. "Before this episode, my husband didn't know who Saif and Kareena were," Tarina claimed. For now, the limelight that has come her way seems to have worked. She has now reportedly hired a publicist who is managing her PR activities and Bollywood project.
A brawl in a restaurant has given Saif just the media attention he needed ahead of the release of 'Agent Vinod'. The upcoming release of a film does curious things to Bollywood stars. They get too friendly or too furious. Saif Ali Khan, now also the Nawab of Pataudi, seems to have chosen the latter option to get himself in news. Or maybe it's the production burden of his ambitious spy flick Agent Vinod that has taken a toll on his mind. But it's paid off no doubt.
The recent brawl involving Saif, followed by the televised bail- drama at the Colaba police station, has showered more attention on him than several press conferences or promotional events would have done. A tweet post doing the rounds when the brawl story broke even had a fictitious Vijay Mallya thanking Saif for diverting media attention away from him. Why is it that the most untoward, amusing, controversial or romantic episodes in a star's life occur just before his or her film is about to get released? Sometimes it is the film getting embroiled in a censorship issue. At others there is a religious community or sect taking offence to a scene or two.
Till recently, Saifeena had tried to be in news by making their PR machinery spin tales on the possibility of wedlock immediately after the release of Agent Vinod . Looks like the 'marriage card' was not working, forcing Saif to bring out his violent side. This couldn't have required much effort though, since the actor has been known for his royal temper, having had a history of getting into scuffles and manhandling people, including journalists. The slap tamasha not only took the cake but also the baker's shop. In keeping with his career's trajectory, Saif has metamorphosed himself from a lover boy to an action hero with an attitude. And once the cash registers start jingling at the box office, who is going to remember a hapless businessman called Iqbal?
Photos: Is it love or publicity?
Saif brawl: The women break their silence on Page 2>>
The women have now spoken out about the Saif-Sharma brawl. When Kareen broke her silence on Saturday, she said, "This man (Sharma) is publicity-hungry. How can a man with a broken nose and jaw speak continuously on TV for more than 10 hours? The funny thing is when Tarina saw her husband making a scene, instead of stopping him she got into the lift and ran away." She said, "Saif was provoked. He's a thorough gentleman and would never get into a brawl, especially with women around."
And now, Iqbal Sharma's wife, Tarini Patel has replied to this accussation in the Mumbai Mirror,"My husband is not some star-struck foreigner in India. He comes from the biggest political family in South Africa; he is (the late anti-apartheid activist) Fatima Meer's nephew. His family was instrumental in getting Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa." Patel claims that her husband did not even know that Saif and Kareena are celebrities, "Why should he know Saif or Kareena? He knows who Amitabh Bachchan is, or maybe Shah Rukh Khan. Beyond that my husband or the rest of my family don't know (anyone) from the industry, and nor do they care."
Interestingly Tarini Patel has worked in a few Bollywood films, her last was a small role in 'Chase' (2010). Accordingly to her there was no provocation for Saif to react like that, "We had no idea asking people to lower their voices in a restaurant was such a provocation that it would warrant a broken nose for my husband. I am so sorry about Bebo's stress levels, caused by our objection to their volume levels."
Replying to Kareena's questions about Sharma's injuries, Patel said, "Because my husband talks through his mouth, not his nose. It's for justice, and we're going to go all the way with this. Saif has gone on television to apologise; that isn't the same as apologising to my father and husband. He claims to be apologetic, and yet the ladies are slandering me."
While Bollywood might be completely supporting Saif, Tarini claims she also has support, "Nana Patekar has offered to support me all the way," she added, "I am not in this for publicity. How can Kareena turn around and say I am doing this for publicity? It just shows the calibre of these people. They are all about media and publicity."
Eyewitness claims Saif provoked Iqbal on Page 3>>
Saif Ali Khan, who recently ruled the headlines following his scuffle with South African businessman Iqbal Sharma, has now got some more reasons to worry.
A staff of the hotel, where the ugly incident occurred, has given a statement to police that is contrary to the claims made by the Nawab. The eye-witness has stated that it was the Agent Vinod star, who provoked Sharma and raised his hands first.
While addressing the Press, Saif had said that he was attacked first and punched Iqbal, only in self-defence. He also claimed that women at his table, comprising girlfriend Kareena Kapoor, Malaika Arora Khan and Amrita Arora, were also abused.
Salman Khan, who is back here after the shooting of "Ek Tha Tiger" in Cuba, came out in support of his fellow actor Saif Ali Khan, saying that media should have waited for his version and dug out the facts before running what was carried on television.
"Even the press yesterday was all for the other guy. They didn't even bother to ask what happened to Saif. Did Saif got wacked first or not? We should have waited for Saif to come out and say what he had to say," Salman told reporters after he was aksed to comment on the incident.
"We are actors and we have been in the industry for the longest time. Saif has been in the industry for 18 years. We knew the guy," added the actor.
Other Bollywood celebs are also rooting for Saif and took to their Twitter accounts to support Khan.
Amrita Arora: "Some tweeps havin a field day slagging of my husband n saif...if only they knew the truth....well we do,n now everybody does.Truth prevails! Its sad that celebs become victims of other people wantin their 15 mins of fame...."
Kunal Kohli: "Without knowing Saif's side of what happened how can anyone just believe what this guys saying is true. Saif explained the whole incident on TV just now. It's unfair to tilt opinions against anyone just because he's a star."
Vishal Dadlani: "Unlikely that Saif hit that guy without extreme provocation. At times hecklers get so obnoxious/personal/aggressive, that one has to react."
Farah Ali Khan: "There is something amiss in this incident and I'm sure the facts will come out soon. It's very unlike Saif to hit an elderly man or provoke a fight."
Anubhav Sinha: "TV Celebrating Saif's Pdmashree tonight more than ever before.Makes for good sensation.Anyone interested in what actually happened? Have personally seen stars take a lot of shit because they MUST behave responsibly. I am sure this coin has two sides too."
Why was Saif arrested on Page 4>>
Saif Ali Khan has been granted bail in the assault case. The actor was arrested earlier for assaulting a guest at the Taj hotel. Khan, 41, and two of his friends friends Bilal Amrohi and Shakeel Ladak were granted bail on a surety of Rs 3000.
The chhote Nawab in his defence said that he was abused and assaulted as well and was merely defending himself. Saif is confident that the CCTV footage will prove what really happened at the five star hotel.
Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan was in trouble on Wednesday after a South African businessman accused him of abusing and hitting him and his father-in-law at a five-star hotel here.
Police, who failed to trace Saif at his Bandra house Wednesday afternoon, later found him at his actress-girlfriend Kareena Kapoor's residence, a police officer said.
The victim, Iqbal Sharma, who is of Indian origin, told TimesNow television that Saif called him an "idiot" for complaining about the actor's loud conduct at a restaurant in the Taj Mahal Hotel.
Sharma said he and his family had requested the restaurant manager to ask Saif and his friends, which included Kareena, Amrita Arora and Malaika Arora Khan, to keep their voices down.
Sharma said he and his family decided to move to another part of the restaurant downstairs.
"As we were going down the stairs, Saif was coming up, probably from the toilet. As he passed me, he called me an idiot and asked 'Do you know who I am?'"
Sharma said the actor first pushed him and then assaulted his father-in-law who fell on the stairs and bruised his jaw.
"It was an uncivilized way to behave in a public space," Sharma said, adding that he intended to pursue the matter legally.
Also read: The Bollywood Fight Club
Apparently an enraged Saif allegedly punched Sharma on the face, reportedly breaking his nose.
Later, Sharma went to the Colaba police station and lodged a complaint against Saif.
Saif has been booked under, among others, Section 325 of the Indian Penal Code (assault), but Shaikh declined to specify whether he would be arrested, saying: "Investigations are in progress."
In 2008, Saif had allegedly assaulted a photojournalist in Patiala during a film shoot.
In 1998, Khan was charged with poaching two blackbucks during the filming of 'Hum Saath Saath Hain' along with co-stars Salman Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam. The charges were dropped later and Saif was acquitted.
Earlier he and his ex-wife Amrita Singh had been accused of allegedly beating up journalist Kanan Divecha after she wrote about Amrita's affair with Amitabh Bachchan.
Incidentally, Saif Ali Khan's home production action thriller 'Agent Vinod' is due to release on March 23. The Bollywood Fight Club on Page 5>>
Who are the other bad boys in Bollywood?
Sanjay Dutt's self-confessed substance abuse was a much talked about episode once. While he became an addict after his mother's death, he managed to overcome the weakest phase of his life with the support of his family.
Fardeen Khan was caught trying to buy cocaine and booked under Section 28 of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. While he was released later, we heard nothing of him going for rehab. His father, Feroze Khan was even quoted as saying, "Why single out Fardeen? Eight out of 10 kids in Bollywood are drug users." Well then, do two wrongs make a right?
Salman Khan's history of violent relationships is as infamous as is the star's onscreen popularity — whether it is how he broke a bottle on Somy Ali's head, or how Aishwarya Rai walked out after two years of an abusive relationship, or the rumour on how he allegedly slapped Katrina on the sets of 'Yuvraaj'. Salman was also charged in the hit-and-run case that killed one and injured four others. There is little doubt he needs help. But have we heard anything about Sallu ever going in for any kind of remedial therapy?