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Bollywood stars who refused to get paid for nothing

Stung by criticism for his band’s lacklustre show at the National Games inaugural ceremony, Malayalam star Mohanlal (inset) decided to return his remuneration. A look at other celebs who willingly or unwillingly let go of their fee...

At the opening event of the ongoing 35th National Games, Malayalam star Mohanlal was funded by the state government to entertain the audience with a performance by his music band Lalisom. But it fizzled out and criticism from various quarters surged, prompting Mohanlal to return the R1.63 crore he had taken as expenses for staging the show. It is another matter, though, that the Kerala government has decided against accepting the actor’s offer.

Kareena Kapoor Khan
Kareena Kapoor found herself in the midst of a cash controversy in 2009 when late producer Jhamu Sugandh’s family accused her of refusing to return the R21 lakh signing amount for a project she didn’t commit dates for

But not all celebrities melted looking at the earnest smile of the Mahatma on the R 1,000 notes. Whatever the reasons, those who returned their fees arguably did so with a pinch of salt. hitlist gives a lowdown on some payback listings…

Mohanlal

Kareena Kapoor Khan In 2009, late producer Jhamu Sughand’s family filed a complaint with the Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association against the actress for refusing to return the signing amount of Rs 10 lakh for a project she didn’t commit dates for.

Payback: Acknowledging the complainants’ grievance, the association sought a reply from Bebo, who promptly returned the money, before the media could get a whiff of the situation.  

Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka Chopra
KC Bokadia’s film Deewana Main Deewana (2013) brought back the reigning stars of the late ’80s along with PeeCee, but the filmmaker was having a hard time releasing his film. Although the film was released after a long haul, it struggled to strike a chord with the audience. Yet Bokadia did not falter in paying the leading lady the money he owed her. A sum of R18 lakh was handed over to Piggy Chops.
Payback: While many find adjectives like kind, generous or gracious, too expensive to spend on the well-to-do, Bokadia was overwhelmed with the actress’s generosity when she returned the cheque with a kind note: “Bokadia Saab, I cannot accept money from you.”

Akshay Kumar
Akshay Kumar
Exactly a year ago, the internet and papers were flooded with pictures of Akki embracing Ekta Kapoor. The fact behind the clutter of bonhomie, over the varied forms of media, was that Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara, produced by Ekta, was not able to anchor at the box office. No, they weren’t using each other’s shoulder to cry on, but the Khiladi decided to return half his acting fee to his producer.
Payback: The actor’s kind gesture was not accepted. Instead, Ekta requested him to work with her in another film.

Kunal Khemu
Kunal Khemu
Earlier reported by mid-day, producer Ravi Agarwal has accused the actor of refusing to do his film after accepting the signing fee of Rs21 lakh. Agarwal said he had approached Kunal to offer him the lead role in Overtake and post discussions, the amount was duly paid to him. He also alleged that Kunal and his father tried dictating terms to make changes in the script.
Payback: Agarwal’s lawyer Neeraj Gupta said, “As the police was not taking our complaint, we approached the court last year… The Oshiwara police will investigate the matter and submit a report in court by March 10.” However, the recently married actor has stayed mum about the allegations.

Suniel Shetty
Suniel Shetty
Tables must turn at crucial moments making action flicks more enjoyable, but in the case of this action hero we gasped even at his off-screen exploits. Suniel was irked with Mumbai Kiski producer Hemendra Singh as he decided to shelve the project mid-way through the actor’s fee negotiations. Suniel was asked to return the R21 lakh fee given as advance, but he refused. Singh was forced to file an FIR against the actor, news of which was reported in May last year.
Payback: The matter hasn’t been settled till date and the actor, along with his lawyer, has filed a case of defamation against the producer.

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