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‘Oscars have destroyed my life’

There is more trouble brewing in the Qureshi household. Slumdog Millionaire child actress Rubina Ali’s sister accuses father of throwing her out of home for not contributing enough to family. Serena Menon reports.

india Updated: Apr 21, 2009 00:52 IST
Serena Menon
Serena Menon
Hindustan Times

There is more trouble brewing in the Qureshi household. A day after reports surfaced that Rafiq Qureshi had tried to sell his daughter,

Slumdog Millionaire

child actress Rubina Ali, one of his daughters on Monday accused him of driving her out of home.

Sana, 13, alleged that her father thought of her as a burden and felt that she didn’t contribute to the family like Rubina, 9, did.

“The Oscar has destroyed my family,” Sana told Hindustan Times on Monday. Sana is now living with their biological mother Khurshida.

“My father said I was unwanted and Rubina was more precious,” she said. Qureshi denied the charge, but couldn’t explain why Sana was forced to leave.

“Khurshida might have done it to frame me,” he said. Sana, however, denied that her mother was involved. Khurshida and Qureshi are divorced. They have six children. Qureshi is now married to Mina.

“We used to go out together. Abba (father) cared for as well before the Slumdog… happened,” she said. While Qureshi has denied reports that he tried to sell Rubina to the highest bidder, Sana said she had heard him talk about it at home.

“There was some talk about her (Rubina’s) adoption a fortnight ago. When I asked Abba, he told me to shut up,” said Sana. “Abba always said the money wouldn’t last forever and nothing would change,” she said.

On Sunday, British weekly News of the World reported that Qureshi had tried to give Rubina away for adoption for Rs 1.4 crore.

He allegedly complained that the family had not made any money out of the film, which won eight Oscars in February, including the coveted best picture.

Qureshi described the report as a lie but accepted meeting a man claiming to be from West Asia who approached them with an offer for the nine-year-old.

The man, posing as a wealthy Arab sheikh, was in fact a reporter at the weekly.

“They kept saying we will give you a lot of benefits and it will be good for your daughter, but I declined,” Qureshi said. “The reports that I wanted to sell Rubina are false.”

Rubina, who played the young Latika in the hit film also said, “I want to remain with (my father).”

Kurshida has filed a police complaint against Qureshi.

(With inputs from AFP)

First Published: Apr 20, 2009 23:48 IST