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Shilpa Shetty - Max Clifford part ways!

UK's top celebrity publicist Max Clifford has dropped Shilpa from his list of clients. Ashok Rai tells more.
None | By Ashok Rai, London
UPDATED ON JUL 24, 2007 12:21 PM IST

When the deal was struck, it was announced with much fanfare that Max Clifford, UK's biggest and best known publicist, would be handling Shilpa Shetty's PR, following her Big Brother victory.

The veteran PR who represents Gerald Ratner, Gillian Mc Keith, Peter Jones and Simon Cowell, to name only a few, had added Shilpa Shetty to his list.

But with time ticking by, came the smell of fish. No A-list Hollywood or international project, no major television series.

Instead, one saw a discreet perfume launch, a couple of political appearances in Leicester and London, a string of usual commercial appearances at British-Asian events and venues, and a recent sign-up for a musical by Bollywood's staple Farhath Hussain.

Recently, when Shilpa was spotted (at the mayor's event) in London being chaperoned by an Asian PR person, the rumour erupted that Clifford had indeed 'dumped' her! On being contacted, an extremely affable Clifford confirmed, "It was becoming impossible! We had a sixmonth contract and it came to an end.

"But I will say that it was a waste of our time. We had the opportunity to do a lot. I was hoping to make her the first real international Bollywood celebrity. There were great plans and meetings on the cards but.....," he trails off.

When asked to elaborate, he said, "Well, the biggest problem was one of communication and reciprocation. Considering we were her official representatives, we found it incredibly difficult to get in touch with her! When we did, the response time was as long as a week."

Clifford narrated, "She had a bunch of three or four people around her who invariably came back with conflicting answers.

"We tried hard to build her profile but I think her priorities were different. It was hard enough persuading her to go on the Jonathan Ross show. I had set up a meeting for her with Simon Cowell, which she didn't seem interested in either. And yet she had the time to make routine appearances in a Leicester, Uxbridge and Southall. It was a real pity. Anyway, she is a nice girl and I wish her the best."

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