Britain-born Upen Patel has been courting controversy lately and the three-film-old model-turned-actor feels there's a definite design to demolish his reputation. But he is determined to strike gold without any backing from the industry.
"I'm being made out to be this publicity hungry, woman-eating Casanova with nothing better to do than chase skirts. I know exactly who are behind this," Upen told IANS.
"I'm accused of being the kiss-and-tell type. Will anyone, even my closest friends, be able to claim I've shared my girlfriend secrets with anyone? I'm not that kind of guy," he added.
Upen, who will also be seen in Money Hai To Honey Hai, insists he knows who his enemies are.
"But I won't give them the pleasure of publicity by naming them. Neither will I let them demoralise me. I came to Mumbai from London with a dream. Today I've made a place for myself and for my sister whose modelling agency is doing very well. I will make it big without being a star son or having godfathers and sugar daddys in the industry."
What about the stories of Upen whizzing past Mumbai's fast lanes with Tabu?
"Did I call up journalists and say I'm seeing the lady? Did I plant stories of our friendship? No!
"The next thing I hear, Tabu is upset with me, for what? What have I done? Or Tanissha (Mukherjee) for that matter...I've been shouting from rooftops that I'm single. Will someone please listen to me?"
"The latest attempt to force me unnecessarily into a corner is a group of pictures featuring me and Deepika (Padukone) released on the net by someone who has nothing better to do. Now I'm being accused of leaking out those pictures! What would I gain by doing something so silly?
"It's not as if they're sleazy pictures. They're a part of Deepika's and my modelling days. We shot the photo-spread for a men's magazine. What is wrong with that? I've shot similar pictures with other model friends like Yana Gupta. What is the point of bringing them out? If they're meant to embarrass the lady, then they don't work. I'm very proud of my modelling days and all that I did back then."
Apparently, a certain section of the industry is determined to hold Upen, who was last seen in "Shakalaka Boom Boom", up for ridicule.
"But the truth is I'm not here to mess around with anyone. I'm accused of having a temper problem. Fine. But do I display my temper unnecessarily?
"I got into a situation with the One Two Three director Ashwin Dheer, but did you see how silly I looked in it, specially when I took my shirt off in the middle of a song. Everyone laughed when it wasn't meant to be funny."