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Don’t ask me about Salem, says Monica

Bollywood starlet Monica Bedi agrees to talk to the local media for the first time after spending 26 months in a Bhopal jail, reports Ashutosh Shukla.
Hindustan Times | By Ashutosh Shukla, Bhopal
UPDATED ON JUL 18, 2007 12:33 PM IST

Bollywood starlet Monica Bedi on Tuesday agreed to talk to the local media for the first time after spending 26 months in a Bhopal jail.

But she had a condition: no questions about underworld don Abu Salem. She walked off the moment a journalist disobeyed her rule.

Before that, Monica did answer a few questions. She admitted receiving offers to act in films but did not say if she accepted them.

She was also not forthcoming on her future plans, but thanked her parents and family members for stoutly standing by her through her long ordeal.

“But for my family’s support, I might have committed suicide,” an emotional Monica said, adding she suffered a lot in jail.

During her brief interaction with journalists at the jail premises, Monica thanked her lawyers “who put up my defence properly to secure acquittal”. She did not say if she planned to stay on in India or be with her parents in Norway.

Recalling her days in jail, the starlet said she spent time giving tips to women inmates on dance and yoga. Monica also clarified that no close circuit TV surveillance cameras were fitted in jail for her as a section of the media had reported. “The story was fabricated,” she insisted.

Monica is slated to leave for Hyderabad. But Bhopal SP AP Singh said he had not got security clearance from his Hyderabad counterpart.

Monica had, on Monday, requested the Chief Judicial Magistrate to allow her to stay on in the Bhopal jail for two more days, but the judge had turned down her appeal.

Her father Prem Kumar Bedi is likely to receive her at Hyderabad.

A local court had on Monday acquitted Monica in a passport forgery case to enable her to leave for Hyderabad, where she is embroiled in a similar case, for obtaining a passport by feigning her identity. But she may be granted bail here too.

“The Supreme Court has granted her bail on executing two sureties of Rs 50,000 each. She just has to furnish the sureties in Hyderabad to be released on bail. We hope to complete the formalities in a few days’ time, her lawyer in Hyderabad, S Pradeep Kumar, said.

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