BOLLYWOOD BEAUTY SHILPA MAKES HEADLINES AGAIN IN THE UK

24 JULY 2007

Shilpa Shetty has enjoyed a gilded life since emerging as the gracious winner of Celebrity Big Brother, becoming Britain's best-loved Bollywood star. But she's about to face the biggest test of her blossoming career. The 32-year-old is at the heart of allegations made by British housewife Kavita Kundra that the screen star has become romantically involved with her estranged husband.

For the past few months Shilpa has spent an increasing amount of time with the 31-year-old promoter of her new fragrance, Britain-based Indian businessman Raj Kundra. They attended Paris fashion week together and have been seen dining and shopping together. Raj, like Shilpa, has insisted the pair are just good friends, however, and have a purely professional relationship.

Aspiring film producer Raj and 25-year-old Kavita split in November last year, three years into their marriage and shortly after the birth of their daughter Deleena. Kavita says her husband is "smitten" by the actress, while she has been working towards a reconciliation. For his part Raj asserts he had nothing to do with Shilpa at the time of their separation.

"I regret that my personal situation has led my ex-wife to attempt to damage the reputation of a highly acclaimed celebrity," says Raj. "I would like to apologise to Shilpa Shetty and her family for my ex-wife's shocking allegations."

Shilpa, who was recently awarded an honorary degree from Leeds University for her outstanding contribution to cultural diversity, can no longer count on image advisor and PR guru Max Clifford for help with the situation, as the pair have apparently parted ways after a series of disagreements.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
Both the actress and the promoter of her new fragrance have denied allegations she is implicated in a marriage break-upPhoto: © Getty ImagesClick on photo to enlarge