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Good triumphs over evil: Shilpa's kin

The family of the Bollywood star hails the eviction of her chief tormentor from Big Brother amid racism row. Speak up

india Updated: Jan 20, 2007 18:14 IST

The family of Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty hailed on Saturday the eviction of her chief tormentor from Big Brother as a triumph of "good over evil," amid a furore over racist bullying on the show.

Viewers of the British reality television show voted to evict Jade Goody who has taunted Shetty in the "Celebrity Big Brother" programme, where participants live shut off from the world in a fishbowl environment.

"This vote has shown that goodness always prevails, like in Bollywood films," a spokesman for Shetty and her family said.

"This vote was not about just one contestant facing eviction. It was a straight forward contest between Shilpa and Jade, between good and bad," said Dale Bhagwagar.

Goody had been the hot favourite to be evicted as Indian government officials called on their British counterparts to intervene in the row and British lawmakers lined up to attack the show.

Both women were nominated for eviction, and 82 per cent of voters wanted Goody out. The show pits celebrity contestants in a studio house to see which one can emerge the audience favourite.

Goody -- along with former Miss Britain Danielle Lloyd and one-time pop star Jo O'Meara -- led the assault on Shetty, often reducing her to tears.

Shetty has been called a "dog" and asked whether she lives in a shack, prompting protestors in India to burn effigies of the show's producers.

"The issue of racism was surely playing on the minds of the British. That's why they have voted Goody out with such an overwhelming majority," Bhagwagar said.

"Shilpa would have won even without the sympathy. She is extremely popular. I have been shouting from the rooftops that she is heading for the kill."

There have been some attempts at reconciliation between the pair before the eviction, with Shetty withdrawing her claims of racism and Goody and Lloyd apologising for their remarks.

Indian newspapers, which reported the patchup on their front pages, hinted that it may have been prompted by the broadcaster and show producers to avert legal action by Shetty.

"Shetty could mount a claim for bullying or harassment that could end with (producer) Endemol and Channel Four playing out tens of thousands in compensation," a major national daily quoted a leading lawyer in Britain as saying.

The dailies also reported on Saturday an invitation by the Indian Tourism Office in London to Goody to experience "the healing nature of India".

The invitation for the sponsored trip was published as an open letter in advertisements in leading British newspapers, a Mumbai based daily said.