There is a new twist to the Maxim-Khushboo tale. Ever since the lad mag Maxim published an admittedly morphed picture of the southern film star -- using her face on the body of a woman dressed in underwear -- Khushboo has threatened legal action. But while the publishers have been waiting for a legal notice, what they seem to have got instead is an eve-teasing charge.
Refusing to accept Maxim editor Sunil Mehra's apology, Khushboo filed a petition with Chennai police commissioner R. Nataraj on January 30. She had two complaints: defamation and the indecent representation of women, both bailable offences.
Speaking to reporters about taking 'suitable action', Nataraj ordered copies of Maxim to be seized in the city. But the magazine's lawyer, K.S. Natarajan, said the police had added another offence under a 1998 state act against eve-teasing. The offence is non-bailable.
Neither Mehra nor the magazine's associate publisher, Piyush Sharma, was available for comment, though in an earlier statement Mehra said he was 'deeply apologetic' for hurting the actor.
Khushboo has had her share of woes since September last year, when her remark that there was nothing wrong with premarital sex had conservative groups up in arms.
The morphed picture that was part of a spoof on 'the women you'd never see in Maxim' was published with the caption, "Of course, I am a virgin if you don't count from the behind."
Vinod Mehta, editor, Outlook, said, "I believe the editor of Maxim erred grievously by publishing the picture. But by adding an eve-teasing charge, this becomes a case of harassment by the Tamil Nadu police. This is not a case of eve-teasing and I denounce and condemn the police for trying to make out a case."