Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty's housemates on UK reality television show Celebrity Big Brother have apologised for alleged racist attacks on her and she made up with them with hugs.
Jade Goody, a reality TV star who called the actress 'Shilpa Poppadam,' and former Miss Great Britain Danielle Lloyd apologised to Shilpa on Thursday night as their careers appeared to be crumbling as a result of their alleged racism.
Shilpa, 31, and Goody had a heart-to-heart on Thursday evening that was initiated by the London-born reality TV star. Goody said, "I know what has happened has not been nice for you... and a lot of stuff got said the other day from you and from myself. I don't say it in a racial way... I do not judge people by the colour of their skin."
Shilpa replied, "I know that. I don't think you're racist. I really appreciate that you took the first step."
The two then hugged and made up after giggling over how trivial the argument was. As the housemates went to bed, it was Lloyd's turn to apologise, crouching beside Shilpa's bed to claim she was 'disgusted' by her behaviour.
She told Shilpa: "I didn't agree with some of the things you said to Jade, but I especially didn't agree with some of the things that Jade said to you."
Complaints from viewers about the race row soared to over 36,000 as Celebrity Big Brother's sponsor mobile phone firm Carphone Warehouse suspended its affiliation with the show yesterday. It used to pay three million pounds a year towards the sponsorship. Broadcaster Channel 4, however, continued to defend the show.
Lloyd said, "I'm sorry. Cos I'm young and quite naive, I've probably took the route where I'll stick with Jade. I feel really disgusted at myself... I'm following the leader, following the group." She then admitted to Shilpa she felt intimidated by Goody. Shilpa appeared to accept Lloyd's apology, saying: "Give me a hug."
Meanwhile, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell has joined the debate over the alleged racist bullying, branding the show as 'disgusting' and asserting that 'racism is being presented as entertainment.' Channel 4's chief executive had refused to comment on the furore.
Lloyd has already been dumped from a lucrative modelling contract, believed to be worth six figures, as a result of the row. The girlfriend of Teddy Sheringham signed a 12-month deal at the end of last year to be the face of motorcycle insurance firm Bennetts. The Perfume Shop too decided to withdraw Goody's best-selling perfume Shh... from its shelves because of the controversy, adding that it would review the position when she left the house.