Page last updated at 12:07 GMT, Wednesday, 23 September 2009 13:07 UK

'Pretty Woman' in temple upset

Julia Roberts (right) poses with Indian priest Swami Dharmdev in Hari Mandir Ashram in Pataudi, some 80km south-west of Delhi on September 22, 2009
Ms Roberts posed for the cameras at the temple on Tuesday

Villagers in India have accused the Hollywood superstar, Julia Roberts, of interrupting one of their most important religious festivals.

They say that her huge film set in the town of Pataudi near Delhi has prevented them from celebrating the Navratri religious festival.

The Pretty Woman star used the Hari Mandir temple to shoot scenes of her new film, Eat, Pray, Love.

Neither Ms Roberts nor the film makers has commented on the claims.

A spokeswoman for Sony Pictures Entertainment, which owns the production company making the film, told the BBC they did not want to say anything about the allegations.


Some locals are unhappy the actress is using the temple during the festival of Navratri, marked by Hindus through nine days of worship of the Goddess Durga.

Police say they are under strict orders to stop devotees from entering the temple while filming is under way because of security considerations.

The restrictions come at a sensitive time because a number of Hindu festivals take place in the autumn.

One worshipper said: "It's the holiest time of the year and we are being stopped from visiting our own temple. It's outrageous."

Eyebrows have also been raised at the scale of the security operation to guard the Hollywood star - some newspapers have described it as "presidential".

Reports say she is also using a bullet proof car and a helicopter for protection.

Up until now, the star of Erin Brockovich and Notting Hill has been seen as one of the West's most "Hindu-friendly" actors, even sporting a bindi spot during a visit to India earlier this year.

In Eat, Pray, Love, Ms Roberts plays a woman hoping to find herself in Hindu spirituality after experiencing a traumatic divorce.

The film is based on the novel of the same name by Elizabeth Gilbert.

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