Pakistani cricketer-turned-umpire Asad Rauf, who's been accused of sexually exploiting a Mumbai-based model, today admitted that the photographs of the two posing together were real, but denied he had ever had any sexual relations with her.
Rauf, an ICC elite panel upmire, said that the model Leena Kapoor had taken the pictures by posing as a fan. He though dismissed her claim that he had promised to marry her.
"I am 56 and happily married with two kids and at my age how can I promise to marry anyone else. I don t know why she is doing this but if she continues to defame me and cause me and my family pain than I will take legal action against her," Rauf told PTI.
"The allegations levelled by her are preposterous and she is just making this story up to gain cheap publicity and fame," he said.
Rauf said many cricket fans were eager to take photographs with people like him and these included women. "So a few pictures don't mean I had an affair with her," Rauf added.
Daring her to take legal action against him, the Pakistani umpire said,"If she has any concrete evidence that I had sexual relations with her she should come forward with them and take me to court."
Digaokar said he had received the complaint and forwarded it to the Versova police station, which has begun an enquiry in the matter.
According to Kapoor, she meet Rauf in Sri Lanka in March this year through a common friend and the two exchanged their telephone numbers. She said Rauf had disclosed his marital status and the fact that he had children, but added that his religion allowed him to have more than one wife. Kapoor claimed Rauf had stopped responding to her calls and around five days back had cut her off, denying knowing her at all.
"If he (Rauf) continues to deny relations with me, I'll take action against him," the Indian model said without elaborating.
Rauf, a former first class player, had umpired a few IPL matches this year. This is the first time that such serious allegations have been levelled against an umpire of the Elite panel. Pakistani channels reported today that the ICC had sought an explanation from Rauf over the affair and were considering suspending him from the panel till the matter was cleared.
Kapoor, 21, forced him into recommending her for the reality TV show "Bigg Boss" as he has good relations with people in Bollywood, Rauf told Express News channel. "But the show's organisers said that they do not accept entries via recommendations or references. So I ended contact with her," he said. "All I can say at the moment is that there is no truth in these allegations. I cannot make such relations at the ripe old age of 56," Rauf said.