'Sush cheated me’

Pageant contestant levels harassment charges against actress Sushmita Sen.
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Updated on Jun 12, 2010 01:37 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | By Priya Ranjan Sahu and Minakshi Saini, New Delhi
An Oriya girl, who was a contestant in the recently concluded ‘I Am She 2010 Miss Universe’ beauty pageant, has made shocking allegations against the promoters of the event, including actress Sushmita Sen, of causing her "mental and physical torture".

Ipsita Pati, 18, claims that Sushmita and her company first made her go on a crash diet to lose 8 kgs in 35 days and then rejected her for being ‘underweight’. “It was like 35 days of imprisonment wherein I was badly harassed. I did not expect this from someone like Sushmita who I used to idolise, but after all this I feel completely cheated,” says Ipsita, an ex-Miss South India title winner, who made it to the top 30 list of the I am She pageant.

“My height is 5’9”and I weighed 53 kgs when I entered the contest. I was made to starve, so I lost 8 kilos in just 35 days and I started feeling unwell and weak so they dropped me, calling me unfit and under weight,” says Ipsita, who met the Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday, seeking his intervention in the matter.

The girl has also filed an FIR and started legal proceedings against Tantra Entertainment, the pageant organisers. “The diet prescribed by the dietician was horrible. I had to be hospitalised but the organisers refused to even let me speak with my parents.”

She adds that all her arguments about her height-weight ratio being within prescribed limits did not cut ice. “When I complained about the crash diet making me sick, I was told that the chef can’t prepare different food for you, so you have to manage with this only.”

In an interesting twist, another Orissa participant of the same pageant, Shreyaa Mishraa, spoke to the press and claimed that she thoroughly enjoyed her stint. “The event was a learning experience for me. Sushmita was very caring and treated us like her daughters,” said Mishra, who made it to the top 20 finalists and was declared Miss Photogenic in the event. Repeated attempts to get a reaction on the allegations from Sushmita Sen and officials of Tantra Entertainment met with no response.

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