“I had just Rs 550 in my bank account at the time the prosecution claimed that I paid Rs 75,000 to one of accused to kill Bhandarkar. I have proof. But I am not disheartened. Once we receive the detailed order, we will study it and move ahead for an appeal,” model Preeti Jain told HT on Friday.
The city civil and sessions court sentenced Jain to three years in jail for plotting to kill filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar. While two of Jain’s associates – Naresh Pardeshi and Shivram Das – were also sentenced to three years in jail, two others from Uttar Pradesh were acquitted for lack of evidence.
Jain, Pardeshi and Das have been granted bail on a cash surety of Rs 15,000.
They have also been given four weeks to file an appeal in the Bombay high court.
In July 2004, Jain alleged that she was raped several times by Bhandarkar between 1999 and 2004 on the pretext of marrying her and casting her as an actor in his movies.
That case against Bhandarkar was quashed in 2012 by the Supreme Court, but that was not the end of controversies for Jain.
In September 2005, a case was registered against Jain and four others for plotting to kill Bhandarkar.
For Preeti, who was born in Cairo to a father who served in the Indian Foreign Service and spent her childhood in Switzerland, Belgium, UK and Pakistan, the verdict came as a jolt.
“I was not expecting this. But I have complete faith in the judiciary,” said Preeti, who plans to appeal against her conviction before the high court.
After finishing her ‘O’ and ‘E’ levels from the Cambridge University in UK, Preeti moved along with her parents to Delhi where she graduated a Bachelor of Arts (English) from Delhi University.
But Preeti’s passion for modelling, compering and acting, brought her to Mumbai in 1999 after the death of her parents.
But before her career could even start, she found herself embroiled in controversies.
Preeti said she was grateful to the court for granting her bail on the same day and would continue to fight in court with her earnings from compering at events, practising numerology and gemmology.