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Australia apologises to Zaetta

The Australian defence force apologises to a Bollywood actress for airing rumours she had sex with troops while touring a military base in Afghanistan.

world Updated: May 24, 2008 03:48 IST

The Australian defence force has apologised to a Bollywood actress for airing rumours she had sex with troops while touring a military base in Afghanistan.

London-based Australian star Tania Zaetta is considering suing the defence department over the scandal, which centres on a morale-boosting tour she made to Australian military bases in Afghanistan last month.

The defence department apologised to Zaetta late Thursday, expressing regret that a ministerial briefing note, known as a “hot issues paper”, detailing the rumours had named her and become public.

However, on the substance of the allegation that Zaetta had sex with special forces soldiers on the trip, the department said only: "We are unable to comment as the investigation is ongoing."

Zaetta has strenuously denied the claims, labelling them “ridiculous” and “hurtful”.

She has said she is briefing lawyers and is concerned the scandal could damage her career in Bollywood.