Page last updated at 18:45 GMT, Tuesday, 31 January 2006

Indian star to sue Maxim over photo

Khushboo will not accept an apology (Photo: RS Kumar)

Southern Indian actress Khushboo is taking legal action against Maxim magazine for publishing a faked photograph of her in underwear.

The actress told the BBC she had filed a complaint with the police and refused to accept an apology from Maxim.

The mocked-up picture appeared in the magazine's recently launched Indian edition on a page called "Women you will never see in Maxim - 100% fake".

Khushboo sparked controversy last year after comments on pre-marital sex.

Police in the southern city of Madras (Chennai) said they would register a case against Maxim and seize all copies of the magazine in the city following Khushboo's complaint.

The punishment that is finally meted out to them [Maxim] should be a deterrent against anyone who tries to treat women as a commodity

The full-page picture showed Khushboo "posing" in black underwear. She has described it as "immodest", even though it is clear only her head is shown in the shot.

The actress plans to go to court, despite an apology from the magazine.

"Indeed the punishment that is finally meted out to them should be a deterrent against anyone who tries to treat women as a commodity and exploit them as they please. I will not opt for any kind of out-of-court settlement," she said.


The editor of the Indian edition of Maxim, Sunil Mehra, told Reuters that he hoped Khushboo would not pursue the matter further.

Priyanka Chopra on the cover of the first Indian edition of Maxim
Maxim says it respects women

"We are deeply apologetic for causing any inadvertent hurt and offence to Khushboo," he said.

"We are in the business of respecting and celebrating rather than denigrating women. It's an unfortunate episode and I hope it will be resolved amicably."

Maxim is the first "lad mag" to launch in India and the Indian edition is among its 31 versions worldwide.

Its owners say the launch issue of Maxim India sold out in 10 days and the second issue looks set to do the same.

"So far we have 80,000 satisfied readers, scores of happy advertisers and only one complaint," a spokesman said.

"I'd have settled for that before we launched."

'Virgin' row

Khushboo, 36, is one of the most popular actresses in southern India and fans have built temples in her honour.

It is not the first time she has been involved in controversy.

Last year, she sparked off demonstrations across southern Tamil Nadu state after she said no educated male should expect his bride to be a virgin.

Chief Minister Jayalalitha, who herself is an actress-turned-politician, condemned the remarks, saying they were "against Tamil culture".

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