After receiving a legal notice from Sridevi and her producer husband Boney Kapoor, director Ram Gopal Varma took to Facebook to clear his stance.
The controversy started after RGV changed the name of his upcoming Telugu film Savitri to Sridevi. The film deals with a teenaged boy's infatuation with an older woman. RGV has in the past talked about the "crush" he has on the actor.
It appears that Kapoor was worried that people will think that the film was based on his wife's life.
The legal notice read, "Our client has suffered considerable embarrassment due to the queries being raised to her regarding the title. Cease and desist from using the name."
Replying to the notice, RGV wrote, "There seems to be an apprehension that the film Sridevi is based on a crush I personally had for Sridevi in my college years. I, many times over the last 5 years expressed this publicly in both the media and also to her which was taken by all concerned in a humorous and healthy spirit."
He goes on to say his feelings for the actor had nothing to do with the name of the film. He said in the film, "neither is the woman playing the title role in my film is an actress nor the boy is a director". He also said there is a huge gap between the title character of the film, unlike him and Sridevi.
The director writes, "The title has been given to us by the Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber which is the authorised body for such deeds, moreover films with this same title Sridevi have been made and released at least 3 times in the last two decades...The Film chamber already sent a reply saying that they are well within their rights to grant the title to us."
He also says that he is "deeply hurt" by Sridevis action. "I strongly believe that she was influenced by others with vested interests..I am going ahead with the title Sridevi because I am well within my legal and moral rights to use it..legal because a name cannot be copyrighted and also like I said the film has nothing to do with the real Sridevi to the extent that the protoganist is not even an actress...moral because I know in my heart that I will never do anything to degrade or demean Sridevi and the final outcome of the film will prove that."