Monica Bedi, Bollywood actress and girlfriend of Mumbai gangster Abu Salem, was on Wednesday released on bail from a prison here where she was lodged in connection with a passport forgery case.
“Finally, God has answered my prayers. I am very happy. I am thankful to God,” Monica said as she stepped out of the state prison for women at Chanchalguda, ending five years of incarceration in jails in Portugal and Hyderabad and Bhopal in India. “I have learnt a lesson.
Earlier, I used to trust everybody and think everybody is a nice person but now I will be more careful,” she said.
Monica was convicted by a special CBI court for obtaining a passport from the Hyderabad Regional Passport Office under a false name and fake address. On September 29, 2006, the CBI court sentenced her to rigorous imprisonment for five years.
The Andhra Pradesh High Court subsequently reduced her sentence to three years, considering her status and age.
On another appeal filed by her, the Supreme Court granted her bail pending the disposal of the case. Monica was arrested along with Salem in Lisbon in September 2002 and extradited in November 2005. “It is over. I am looking forward to the future,” she said, as she came out escorted by her lawyers and her father Prem Kumar Bedi.
“I will spend some time with my family. Soon, I will be back in Hyderabad. I am getting lot of offers (to act) from Tollywood (Telugu film industry) and Bollywood,” Monica said.