New Delhi: Bollywood’s limelight has always fascinated people and actors in this particular industry are the most sort-after ever since the Entertainment industry was set-up, which also reminds us of instances where a common man has crossed boundaries just to have one glance of their favorite actor.
Similar is this lawsuit which is to begin its hearing in Britain’s High Court next week. The lawsuit is against a Bahraini national who has made a deal with an Egyptian businessman to pay him huge amounts of money for every one-on-one meeting with Bollywood’s top actors.
The Bahraini national identified as Sheikh Hamad Isa Ali al-Khalifa is a distant cousin of the king of Bahrain and also the nephew of the deputy prime minister. He made the deal to pay $1.5 million per meeting to spend some time with 26 Bollywood stars.
The businessman Ahmed Adel Abdallah Ahmed is seeking $42.5 million from Ali al-Khalifa for breaking his contract though Ahmed has set-up meetings with Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan at Mumbai’s St Regis Hotel on January 16, 2016, and February 11, 2016 while meetings with Ranveer Singh and Aditya Roy Kapoor were arranged in Dubai at Mina al-Salam Hotel on March 6 and 17, 2016 respectively.
According to documents filed in the UK high court of Justice Jeremy Cooke, Sheikh agreed to pay $1.5 million per meeting and a bonus of $500,000 for every third meeting but so far he has made payments of total $4 million alone while remaining $8.5 million were outstanding.
The meetings were organized under an oral agreement between Ahmed and the Sheikh during a conversation in London in January 2016.
The Sheikh also signed three “special authorisation bonds” asking Ahmed to arrange meetings for him with Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and other Bollywood stars during January- March 2016.
The lawsuit also alleges that Sheikh asked Ahmed’s firm, CBSC Events & Exhibition and Conference Organizers, to sponsor a film awards event in Dubai in March 2016 so that he could attend the function and meet Indian stars.
Later he moved back on his word and refused to pay the promised amount of $500,000 for the film awards event and has also cancelled meetings with Akshay Kumar and Aamir Khan in April 2016.
Challenging the lawsuit filed in Britain, Sheikh’s counsel argued that Britain didn’t have jurisdiction to run the lawsuit since he was not a resident of Britain along with challenging the claim of a legally binding agreement.
To that, the court responded that since the oral agreement was concluded in London it does have jurisdiction to hear the case.
The court is scheduled to hear arguments by both sides over five days from November 12 where the two parties are likely to be cross-examined.
According to reports published in The Independent, Sheikh’s defense statement stated that Ahmed “started to put unfair pressure” on him, “making unwarranted demands for very large sums of money and seeking to arrange meetings which were not convenient,” when he pulled out of the deal.
Ahmed stated that the Sheikh has not informed Ahmed about his intentions of not continuing the deal with other actors after meeting four Bollywood stars.
Pavani Reddy, managing partner of law firm Zaiwalla & Co, which is representing Ahmed, said: “This is an interesting case and involves oral agreements reached in London between two parties from Middle East, concerning arranging meetings with famous Bollywood stars.”