First she got racially abused by British reality TV star, Jade Goody Then she got kissed by an American . movie star, Richard Gere. Shilpa Shetty hurtled from controversy to controversy, but maintained her calm, her over-sized hoop earrings and her washboard stomach all through.
The kiss happened at an AIDS awareness event for, of all people, truck drivers. Gere bent Shetty over his arm and smooched her on the face several times, then bowed gallantly to her. Shetty looked flustered but not at all put out. But India's moral police was distinctly put out; they burnt Gere's effigies and shouted "Death to Shilpa!"
Earlier in the year, however, when Shetty was called "poppadum" by Goody on the Big Brother reality show in the UK, and told to go back to the "slums," everyone rallied around our Bollywood girl, both in the UK and in India. The controversy blew up into a full-fledged row; the matter came up in the House of Commons and our own politicians leapt into the fray, not to forget the acres of newsprint and television airtime spent on the issue. At the end of it all, Shetty may have got a perfume named after her, and starred in a London musical, ‘Miss Bollywood,' but as far as her Bollywood career is concerned, neither controversy helped. Face it, Shilpa, the best is over.