Nupur Mehta grabbed headlines some time back, as there were reports claiming that she was involved in match-fixing. Initially she denied flatly, then said "met cricketers by chance". The latest development is that the starlet has now confessed dating Sri Lankan cricketer Tillakaratne Dilshan during T20 World Cup in 2009.
"I was seeing Dilshan and went to the casino with him but that does not suggest I am involved with match-fixing in cricket. That is my personal life and my relationship cannot be made the basis of such a big allegation. I am a single, attractive girl and have the liberty to move around in any part of the world and interact with whoever I want to," Nupur told Mail Today.
She refused to divulge names of international cricketers she met at the London casino. "I can mention Dilshan's name because I was seeing him at the time. Why should I drag the names of other cricketers in the whole issue? I had just met them socially," the tabloid quoted her as saying.
After denying any contact with cricketers, Nupur Mehta later told the Sunday Times about her trip to a London casino during the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup, where she claimed to have met some international players - by chance. "I went to the casino on my own and these cricketers happened to be there. They were all in London because of the T20 World Cup," she told the Sunday Times, which had alleged last week that Indian bookies were using women, including a Bollywood star, to lure players into fixing matches.
Nupur in demand
Filmmakers say that the actor, who featured in 2005 flick Jo Bole So Nihaal, has her market value shooting up overnight.
"There is no denying that controversy grabs attention. She has been noticed and filmmakers would be willing to cast her if she has talent. I think she is attractive and intelligent, and has potential," says filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt.
Filmmaker Anees Bazmee says, "I'd cast her in my film if the role suits her."
Rahul Mitra, who produced Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster, says that while he would be very cautious of casting somebody who is in the centre of controversy, he'd cast Mehta if the role demands it. "If the character demands, why not?"
However, some say the controversy won't boost her career. "If such things mattered, Poonam Pandey would be a huge star," says filmmaker Pritish Nandy. Filmmaker Anjum Rizvi adds, "It's not about controversy but talent."
On her part, Nupur says, "I am keeping my fingers crossed."