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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 October, 2003, 17:26 GMT 18:26 UK
Bollywood 'pen-pal' cheats US man

By Ayanjit Sen
BBC correspondent in Delhi

A better knowledge of Bollywood could have saved Kenneth Corley $1,400.

Aishwarya Rai
"Have you seen this woman?"

The American was bowled over when an Indian lady he had met over the internet sent him some photos of herself.

He liked the pictures so much he invited her to visit him in the US - but the lady said she did not have enough money.

Mr Corley immediately transferred $1,400 to help pay for her travel expenses - and never heard from her again.

Mr Corley emailed police in the Indian capital, Delhi, asking them if they could trace the 28-year-old woman, who had said her name was Anita Choud.

To help them identify her, he attached the photos she had sent him.

Delhi police had a look at them, and immediately realised all was not as it seemed.

The woman in the photos was unmistakeably the well-known Bollywood actress and one-time Miss World, Aishwarya Rai.

"It seems that Mr Corley has been taken for a ride, but we are investigating and have asked him to send us more details," said a senior police officer in Delhi.

A deputy commissioner of police in Delhi, Deependra Pathak, said the lady had told Mr Corley she was the daughter of an Italian mother and an Indian father.

She also said she knew an acquaintance of Mr Corley's in Delhi, and claimed to be teaching English and Geography at a Delhi elementary school.

Mr Corley said in his email that he did not know whether he had been conned, or if the woman had been hurt by the fact that he sent her the money.

Bollywood's Rai reflects on career
15 May 03  |  South Asia

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