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Jade shouldn't be called racist: Shilpa

Shetty forgives fellow housemate Jade Goody whose racist slurs caused massive outrage in India and Britain.

india Updated: Jan 29, 2007 18:52 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

Voted the winner of Channel 4's reality TV show "Celebrity Big Brother", Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty forgave fellow housemate Jade Goody whose racist slurs caused outrage in India and Britain.

"Things happen and people make mistakes and we are all human beings and we are all fallible," Shilpa said immediately after winning the show. "I know one thing for sure, Jade really didn't mean to be racist.

"I really don't want to leave England putting anyone in trouble," added Shilpa in an interview on Channel 4, which broadcasts the controversial series.

Shilpa bagged an estimated 100,000 pounds (almost Rs 9 million) in prize money. The results didn't come as a surprise because the leggy Indian star was tipped as the hot favourite to win.

Shilpa thanked the crowd outside as she left the specially designed Big Brother House, where she had been cooped up for 26 days under 24-hour surveillance.

Shilpa, 31, the first Indian to participate in the British TV show, was reportedly paid in excess of 40,000 pounds for her participation.

"She was leading all the betting sites," said Shilpa's publicist Dale Bhagwagar.

Shilpa's being on the show, which started on January 3, didn't make as much news as the racist slurs hurled against her by her housemates, namely British contestant Goody who was voted out by the audience.

Housemates Goody, Danielle Lloyd and Jo O'Meara seemed to have ganged up against Shilpa during her stay. She became the subject of their snide and biting comments because of her svelte figure, poise and charm, good dressing sense and background as a popular Bollywood actor, said some media reports.

The comments against her sparked anger in India and Britain, and the issue figured in the House of Commons. Feminist diva Germaine Greer and even two Indian ministers demanded corrective action.

Shilpa, who made her debut in Bollywood with the 1993 super-hit "Baazigar", which also starred reigning superstar Shah Rukh Khan, never managed to touch the skies as a star. Her slinky dance numbers were more appreciated than her emoting powers.

Other contestants who participated in the show were Michael Jackson's brother Jermaine Jackson, A-Team star Dirk Benedict, Donny Tourette of punk band The Towers of London, ex-Steps star Ian "H" Watkins and "Kenny Everett" Show actress Cleo Rocos.

First Published: Jan 29, 2007 14:01 IST