On March 4, Bipasha Basuarrived with her husband Karan Singh Grover in London for the India Pakistan London Fashion Show. The 38-year-old actress was the showstopper for the grand finale curated by London-based designers Lubna and Uzma Rafiq and featured three distinct cultures -British, Indian and Pakistani. Walking the ramp for the same show at the prestigious Gibson Hall was Javed Shaikh, Pakistani actor best known in India for his performance in the TV show ‘Zindagi Gulzar Hai’. Javed and Bipasha were to interact with the media together after the curtains came down.
But four hours before the show kicked off at 6pm, Bipasha flatly refused to come out of her hotel room or speak to anybody. When her manager who was accompanying her, Sana Kapoor of Caa Kwan Talent Management Agency Pvt. Ltd., reportedly tried to cajole her to step out, she abused her and threw her out of the room, and also insulted London-based Gurbani Kaur, the founder and organiser of the show, slamming the door on her face.
Recalling her ‘horrific run-in’ with the actress, Ronita Sharma Rekhi, who was the official talent scout of the show, responsible for bringing the Indian actress to London, told Mirror, “While still in India, Sana told us that Bipasha wanted her husband Karan to fly out to London with her and her stay be extended to five nights. We had already booked rooms at Mayfair but since there were no rooms available after she extended her stay, we shifted her to the Montcalm Hotel, another five-star property which cost us 600 pounds per night. All her requirements were taken care of and an advance fee was paid. Within minutes of landing in London, we handed her two local SIM cards which she literally threw back on my face because it only had a five pound recharge. There were around 20 people watching us, including the chauffeurs. The tantrums got worse once Bipasha reached the hotel.”
Ronita goes on to inform that an hour before the show began, the designers, hair-dresser and make-up artistes who were all on the pay-roll were waiting in the hotel lobby for Bipasha to arrive. But she absolutely refused to come down and the fashion show finally took place without its showstopper. The show was a hit with the BBC covering it live, reporting it as ‘one of the most exemplary portrays of Indian and Pakistani fashion’.
Five hours later, with Sana, and Ronita still waiting, Bipasha and Karan walked out of their room and without glancing at anyone walked out with a map of London in hand to explore the city.
Ronita adds that Bipasha refused to speak to her manager, who was left stranded and had to literally be rescued by London-based Sunny Surani, whose company Universal Entertainment is the one-stop shop for all Bollywood film shoots and Indian events taking place in London. Sunny also works in tandem with the UK Government to assist with visas for film projects.
“It was a pitiful situation when I was contacted. I had to organise accommodation and food for Bipasha’s manager Sana, and book her on the next flight to Mumbai,” says Sunny, adding, “The total loss suffered by the show organisers because of Bipasha amounts to 7800 pounds, apart from the travel expenses paid to her in cash at the airport. Bipasha used this as ‘honeymoon money’ but we will fight this till the end. We are going to apply to the visa and immigration centre to debar her from working in the UK in future.” The organisers confirmed that they have the hotel’s CCTV footage, travel and financial documents, phone and message conversations as evidence.