Mallika asked to return Rs.2.5mn to Studio 18!

Mumbai, July 10 (IANS) Bollywood star Mallika Sherawat, currently riding on the crest of glory, has been delivered a piece of bad news by the industry's oldest body of producers, the Indian Motion Picture Producers' Association (IMPPA).

Not that it bothers her at all -- but it definitely pierced her ballooning ego.

Following a complaint by Studio 18 against her "starry tantrums", IMPPA early this week asked her to return Rs.2.5 million the banner had paid her early this year as signing amount for a movie, tentatively titled "Masquerade", according to industry sources.

Studio 18 had lodged the complaint because before the ink was dry on the agreement, the actress allegedly asked the production house to replace the movie's director, Kundan Shah.

When Studio 18 refused to oblige, she demanded the cinematographer be replaced with one of her choice, Madhu Ambat, who demanded Rs.4 million for the assignment, said the sources.

The production banner turned down her demand, saying the choice of the cinematographer was always the director's prerogative.

Not being able to have her way, Mallika Sherawat, as IANS had reported earlier, felt so affronted that she walked out of the movie, throwing the project topsy-turvy.

IMPPA has now ordered her to return the signing amount of Rs. 2.5 million within one month or else face the consequences, the sources said.

Mallika Sherawat was not available for a comment. Her business manager Vikram Lamba feigned ignorance about the IMPPA notice.

Sajjad Chunawala, of Studio 18, said the actress caused the production house a lot of damage. "We will not rest till she pays," he remarked.

Is the movie shelved?

"No, we are re-working it," Chunawala informed.

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