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Starlet in new match-fixing row denies daily’s charges

Nupur Mehta,appeared in Sunny Deol film 'Jo Bole So Nihaal',threatened to take paper to court.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: March 13, 2012 12:43:44 am

A smalltime Bollywood actress whose alleged likeness was published in The Sunday Times of London in a front page report about matchfixers using women to bait cricketers on Monday threatened to take the paper to court.

Nupur Mehta,who appeared in a song in the 2005 Sunny Deol film Jo Bole So Nihaal said she is the woman in the picture the paper published along with the story,titled ‘English cricket in bung scandal’. The picture showed a woman in a sequined short skirt and choli with her face pixellated out.

“All these allegations are false. I am not involved in this and I can never think of matchfixing. My pictures have been used against my permission,” Mehta told a press conference in Mumbai. “The picture that they have used was taken during my film Jo Bole So Nihaal,” she said. “I have been accused of something I have not done. All I would say is I am not guilty of any such thing,” Mehta said. “I intend to take (legal) action against them for maligning my reputation.”

The report did not name Mehta. It reported an alleged Indian bookie’s boast — captured on hidden camera — that “tens of thousands of pounds are on offer to fix matches,typically £44,000 ($70,000) to batsmen for slow scoring; £50,000 ($80,000) for bowlers who concede runs; and as much as £750,000 ($ 1.2m) to players or officials who can guarantee the outcome of a match”.

It reported claims that “bookmakers used (a) Bollywood actress to lure players into taking bribes”,and that the World Cup semifinal between India and Pakistan last year might have been fixed.

Mehta said she wasn’t in Mohali when the match took place. “I was at my home. In fact,I don’t even know any cricketer in person nor have I dealt with any bookie,” she said. “Many have been targeted earlier too. I am not the first person who has been dragged into the controversy. However,I am honest and innocent.”

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