Any kind of publicity is considered good in the movie business. But, one-film-old Nupur Mehta didn't seem to be enjoying the limelight yesterday.
The model-actress has vehemently rejected allegations that she was involved in fixing last year's World Cup Cricket semi-final between India and Pakistan at Mohali.
"I have never been to Mohali. I watched that particular game on TV. That's the way I usually follow cricket. I only went to the Wankhede in 2002 for a match. I am an ardent supporter of several cricketers. But I have never had anything to do with match fixing," Nupur told MiD DAY.
The actress came under the lens, after British paper The Sunday Times carried an interview with a Delhi-based bookie who claimed that the 2011 semi-final was rigged.
The paper said that a Bollywood starlet was used to lure Pakistani players to underperform, but did not name her. An image with a blurred face was published in the newspaper with a report claiming that match-fixing is rampant in international cricket and UK's domestic county as well. The image seems to be of Nupur.
"I had received a call from someone claiming to be from The Sunday Times, who only asked me whether I had been to Mohali to watch that game.
I replied in the negative. That was the end of the conversation. I gave them no permission to use my image. I'll certainly take them to court.
I've been hounded by media personnel asking me about my alleged involvement in match fixing. That's why I have come to the press to tell my side of the story," Nupur said.
"I don't know any cricketer in person, nor have I ever dealt with any bookie. In fact, I am perplexed how my name has been linked to this controversy," she said, adding, "Since I am clean, I am prepared to cooperate with any probe conducted by any agency regarding the matter."
When asked if she had attended any of the IPL parties or ever met any Pakistani players, Nupur again rejected the facts. "No, I have never been part of any such celebrations, nor have I personally known or ever been in touch with any Pakistani player," she maintained.