Few days ago, on March 4, Bipasha Basu and husband Karan Singh Grover arrived in London for the India Pakistan London Fashion Show. London-based designers Lubna and Uzma Rafiq had roped in the actress as the showstopper for the grand finale at Gibson Hall, for the show which featured three cultures – British, Indian and Pakistani.
Pakistani actor Javed Shaikh of the TV show Zindagi Gulzar Hai fame was to walk the ramp too. Also, Shaikh and Bipasha were to interact with the media together after the curtains came down.
Just four hours before the show kickstarted at 6 pm, Bips refused to come out of her hotel room or speak to anybody. Allegedly, when her manager, Sana Kapoor tried to convince her to come out, the Bong beauty abused her, throwing her out of the room. That’s not all, apparently, she also insulted the founder and organiser of the show, Gurbani Kaur, slamming the door in her face.
Ronita Sharma Rekhi, the official talent scout of the show, in charge of getting Bipasha to London, recalls her “horrific run-in” with the actress, to Mumbai Mirror, “While still in India, Sana told us that Bipasha wanted her husband Karan to fly out to London with her and her stay be extended to five nights. We had already booked rooms at Mayfair but since there were no rooms available after she extended her stay, we shifted her to the Montcalm Hotel, another five-star property which cost us 600 pounds per night. All her requirements were taken care of and an advance fee was paid. Within minutes of landing in London, we handed her two local SIM cards which she literally threw back on my face because it only had a five pound recharge.There were around 20 people watching us, including the chauffeurs. The tantrums got worse once Bipasha reached the hotel.”
Reportedly, Rekhi adds that an hour before the show was to kick off, the designers, hair-dresser and make-up artistes who were all on the pay-roll were awaiting the 38-year-old actress’ arrival in the hotel lobby. But the latter vehemently refused to come down and the fashion show went on without its showstopper. The show was a popular one, with the BBC covering it live and reporting it as “one of the most exemplary portrays of Indian and Pakistani fashion.”
Apparently, Sana and Ronita were still kept waiting five hours later. And Bipasha and Karan stepped out of their room and without glancing at anyone, with a map of London in hand to explore the city. Ronita further added that Bips refused to speak to her manager, Sana leaving her stranded and had to be rescued by Sunny Surani, of Universal Entertainment, which is the one-stop shop for all Bollywood film shoots and Indian events taking place in London. Besides this, Surani also works in cohesion with the UK Government to help with visas for film projects.
Sunny informed the tabloid, “It was a pitiful situation when I was contacted. I had to organise accommodation and food for Bipasha’s manager Sana, and book her on the next flight to Mumbai,” adding, “The total loss suffered by the show organisers because of Bipasha amounts to 7,800 pounds, apart from the travel expenses paid to her in cash at the airport. Bipasha used this as ‘honeymoon money’ but we will fight this till the end. We are going to apply to the visa and immigration centre to debar her from working in the UK in future.” The organisers confirmed that they have evidence consisting of the hotel’s CCTV footage, travel and financial documents, phone and message conversations.
Reportedlty, Ronita has given Caa Kwan Talent Management Agency Pvt. Ltd and Basu a period of 48 hours to reply to her e-mails, calls and messages to come to a solution. If the problem isn’t resolved she plans to fight the actress for damages to herself and her client. Ronita was quoted saying, “The agency doesn’t want any thing more to do with the affair.But I cannot forget how we, credible and respectable working professionals, cried and begged Bipasha to walk the ramp and how mercilessly she let not only us down but also India, and that too on a platform that was meant to portray the unity between two countries. As event organisers we are used to delays, complains and unreasonable demands but everybody always comes to an amicable agreement.Sometimes the organisers apologise, sometimes the celebrities and everybody goes home having earned some money and recognition. But this is unacceptable.”
When the tabloid contacted Caa Kwan, they did not respond. Meanwhile, Bipasha’s spokesperson told the tabloid, “The organisers didn’t honour their commitment as promised, and Bipasha had to book her own hotel stay. It was completely unprofessional on their part.”