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Shakti Kapoor: How can I forget Ruchi?

March 22, 2005 19:17 IST

Sohaib Ilyasi, the man behind the Shakti Kapoor and Aman Verma sting operations for India TV, has denied the charges levelled by the actors that he used a woman of dubious character to expose them.

Last week India TV aired video footage of the film and television actors acting improperly with the lady undercover reporter, posing as a wannabe actress.

"The girl Ruchi, as we know her on the tapes, has been working with me for the last two years. She comes from a family of journalists. Now, they are flinging charges at her and myself. But that is what you expect from those who have been exposed," Ilyasi told rediff.com

Ilyasi, who shot to fame with the television series, India's Most Wanted, was the anchor for the star exposes.

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According to sources, Shakti Kapoor was stung at a wellknown hotel in Juhu, northwest Mumbai.

"We had a lot of difficulty in getting the man to our hotel room," Ilyasi said. "He would call up to say that he is stuck in Ahmedabad and there is no flight. Then he would say that even if it is late, he would come straight to the hotel room. We were waiting for him from 9 pm onwards. It was very late when he came there."

The actors argue that the casting couch exists in print and television studios as well, and Ilyasi says, "Let them say anything. We have exposed them. I am not saying that all those in the film or television industry are bad. Only a handful of them bring a bad name to their profession."

Shakti Kapoor, who is currently shooting for a film called Ek Hi Bhool, bursts into laughter when asked if the title is an oblique reference to the episode. "This is coincidental. This has nothing to do with that episode," he says.

And does he remember the woman?

"Of course! How can I forget her? She is five feet four or five inches tall, has an oval face, beautiful eyes and fair complexion. She looked like a behenji turned mod and did not know fluent English. She spoke in broken sentences. I think she was just picked up for the job." he says.

Onkar Singh in New Delhi