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Bahrain royal denies $35 mn promise for Bollywood star meetings


A Bahraini royal is being sued to the tune of 16 million pounds by an Egyptian entrepreneur Ahmed Adel Abdallah over an alleged deal for access to top Bollywood stars. Denying the charges, Sheikh Hamad Isa Ali Al Khalifa told England’s High Court on Monday he was “astonished” at being sued over an alleged deal for access to top Bollywood stars.

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Sheikh Hamad Isa Ali Al Khalifa is alleged to have struck a deal with the Egyptian entrepreneur to pay 35 million pounds for meetings with 26 top actors from the Indian film industry. The Sheikh has met Shah Rukh Khan, Aditya Roy Kapur, Salman Khan, and Ranveer Singh.

The Sheikh is a distant cousin of the king of Bahrain and said that he has a “lifelong passion” for Bollywood cinema and wanted to meet stars including Shah Rukh Khan, Ranveer Singh and Aishwarya Rai. He added that he has paid around 2.7 million pounds for meetings with the Bollywood star just to please Ahmed and not due to any contractual obligations.

Sheikh Hamad said, “When I learned of the claims that Mr. Ahmed was making against me in these proceedings, I was astonished. I was grateful to (Mr Ahmed) for helping me to meet four top Bollywood artists and expressed my gratitude frequently by words and my gestures: in total, he received around 2.7 million pound from me in relation to these meetings.”

He further added that, “I considered this sum was comfortably in excess of the amount that he had incurred in costs and expenses, including in fees for the Bollywood artists. I do not think that this gives him license to demand vast sums of money to which he is not entitled.”

Ahmed has claimed that during a phone conversation with Sheikh Hamad when he was in London in January 2016, they had made an “oral agreement” that he would be paid more than 1 million pounds for each meeting, plus a bonus of more than 350,000 pounds after every third meeting.

But the Sheikh contends the alleged arrangement is “entirely fictitious”.

The hearings are at present continuing at the High Court in London.

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