Like Hollywood and Bollywood, the Nepali film industry has not remained untouchable of various scandals and controversies. From tragic Shrisha Karki nude photo publication controversy to Namrata Shrestha sex video scandal, the Nepali film industry has been rocked by many scandalous incidents and malicious gossips from time to time.
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Here are the five biggest scandals of actresses of the Nepali film industry:
SHRISHA KARKI TRICKY NUDE PHOTO CONTROVERSY
Shrisha Karki nude photo controversy came as one of the most shocking and tragic incidents that stunned the entire film industry–drawing a huge public outcry and wide media attention including BBC.
After a weekly tabloid ‘Jana Aastha’ published a tricky nude photograph of actress Karki illustrating an article, entitled “the colorful night of filmdom”, about alleged prostitution in the Nepali film world, the 23-year old actress committed suicide. She was found hanged at her house in Chabahil in the morning of October 14, 2002, six days after the publication of the snap.
Thousands of film artists and fans including Karki’s family marched into the street of the capital in protest against the tabloid’s “irresponsible journalism” and its editor Kishor Shrestha saying it was trick photography and the news ‘fake’. The angry public also vandalized the office of the newspaper.
The cine industry also launched a campaign against “yellow journalism” demanding Shrestha be held responsible for the “murder” of Karki. The police also raided the weekly’s office and seized computers and other materials.
Her parents accused editor Shrestha of allegedly blackmailing Karki, who had by then already acted in more than a dozen movies and was regarded as the actress with great potential.
However, editor Shrestha, who went into hiding for 41 days after actress Karki took her own life, told BBC that he was only trying to expose the “sleaze in Nepal’s film industry’.
The report (written by Bishwomani Subedi and Yadav Prasad Pandey) had allegedly accused Karki of working “as a prostitute and used to charge her customers Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 per night with the help of organized agent Sunita Khadka, a film producer”. Moreover, it had also mentioned sexual escapades and love affairs of actresses Niruta Singh, Pooja Chanda, Jal Shah, Rejina Upreti, Arunima Lamsal, and Karishma Manandhar.
According to a report by AFP published in THE AGE, Karki, before her death, had said that the photograph was taken by a police officer Uddav Bhandari “without her knowledge”. But, according to the newspaper, Bhandari who went to London 2001, had paid Karki to take the photograph two years ago, it further reported.
An article by Manjushree Thapa in Nepali Times had stated that Bhandari had invited Karki to his apartment and forcibly stripped her and taken the picture with the help of a director to blackmail her into prostitution.
Two separate cases were filed against Shrestha at the Supreme Court and Kathmandu District Police Office. Later, the Press Council Nepal maintained that the newspapers had breached the code of conduct and instructed Shrestha to beg a public apology.
Following the pressure, Shrestha, who was released within 24 hours of detention, published a front-page editorial begging apology for the entire episode.
Bhandari committed suicide in the UK, according to reports. Kishor Karki is currently the acting chair of the Council, media regulatory body of Nepal Government.
JYOTI KHADKA ‘JESSICA’ AND PRAKASH OJHA SEX-TAPE SCANDAL
A sex video involving actress Jyoti Khadka and popular comedy singer Prakash Ojha was leaked in social media in 2005, tragically dooming both artists.
Khadka had started her career at the age of 14 playing a part in a television comedy show ‘Tite Kareli’ in 2001. According to reports, Khadka was given the opportunity to work in the comedy show by singer Ojha himself. Later it was found out that Ojha used to call her in his apartment and take her pictures in the nude–which Ojha used as a tool to blackmail her for sexual fulfillment.
After the sex scandal, Khadka became a subject of humiliation in the society. It was reported that she was constantly harassed by the people. She had to take in verbal abuses and decline spontaneous sex proposals from strangers.
The controversy also left the rising actress struggle with the entertainment industry for years. She later came back with a new name Jessica Khadka and did her part in a low budget movie Jungle Queen, which could not become a success.
She committed suicide in 2012. She was found hanging from the ceiling of her bedroom in a rented apartment at Jhhochen in New Road on the morning of June 12. Her next movie Jungle Love was due to release on June 22 the same year. She had also acted in Mero Maya Timilai, Achanak, Kasle Banayo Maya and Lucky 7.
Although her family claimed her suicide had no connection with the sex-tape scandal since it happened “a long time ago”, her younger brother Unique, as reported by The Kathmandu Post, had said that she used to remain “depressed very often” and never “shared her feelings” to him.
The police, on the basis of a telephonic conversation that took place at 2:00 am that night between Khadka and a movie producer Baldeep Rai, had detained the latter for his “possible connection” with her suicide.
It was suspected that Rai, whom she was tying her knot with, had brought up the issue of sex tape leak that led to her suicide. But police declared that there was no “foul play” and was a “pure suicide” case.
The scandal also changed everything for Ojha, digging out his darkest secrets.
In February 2005, the police investigation found that Ojha was sexually abusing three minor girls and coercing them to have sexual intercourse by threatening to publicize their indecent photos and videos for the past two years.
He was put behind bars in Biratnagar for two years before the Biratnagar Appellate Court acquitted him of the crime.
Later, the Supreme Court revoked the verdict of Biratnagar Court, convicted Ojha on the charge on sexually abusing the minor girls and human trafficking and sentenced him to 10 years in prison.
The SC had ruled that Ojha had taken photographs and videos of sexual activities with the minor girls and posted them on various websites to make money and blackmailed the victims to have sexual intercourse.
He was arrested and then sent to jail on January 27, 2017, from Sankhamul, Kathmandu, where he was in hiding and active in recording a music video.
NAMRATA SHRESTHA SEX TAPE AND NATIONAL AWARD CONTROVERSIES
Namrata Shrestha was dragged into a huge scandal after her sex video with Kichaa M Chitrakar aka DJ Tantrik was leaked in September 2009, at a time when her film career was at the peak. Shrestha was awaiting her movie Mero Euta Sathi Cha (2009), which would be a box office hit grossing more than 2.5 crores.
The intimate video of about 8 minutes long, which went viral in various websites as soon as it was released, at first tabled a debate in social media whether it was fake or real. The first sex-tape was followed by three more videos of 2.25 minutes, 14 minutes and 28 minutes in length.
As published in xnepali.net, the male in the video was confirmed by filmykhabar, which also reported that the video was found by Tantrik’s wife and had taken it to Maiti Nepal seeking his husband’s apology.
Another rumor has it that the video was leaked on the internet by Tantrik’s wife herself. However, it has not been proved yet who leaked the sex video.
Days later, social media reported that actress Shrestha had admitted that the scandalous video was real and she was the girl in the video.
Following the scandal, Shrestha remained out of contact for some period before reappearing in the film industry as a guest appearance in First Love. She then has acted in super hit movies like November Rain and Classic.
But that was not enough. Shrestha was pulled into another controversy after rumors on social media surfaced that Shrestha lost her National Awards to Reecha Sharma for declining sex favor to Minister Minendra Rijal. The rumor was first surfaced on motivatenews.com, according to xnepali.net quoting Karishma Manandhar. The rumor was later circulated by other social media creating hype across the country.
The rumor forced actress Shrestha to break silence on her Facebook page responding to the “sex favor rumors” and slamming the journalists and gossipmongers for covering “baseless news with tabloid titles”.
She also asked her fans not to believe in news created by some online bloggers on the basis of her quick absence from the National Awards Ceremony held at Sital Niwas, Kathmandu on July 28, 2015.
“It is silly to be running after the news created by some blogger when I am completely occupied with my upcoming and running projects, she wrote on her Facebook page.
“With news getting viral in social Media its time to clear things out when newsmakers are writing on my behalf without my consent!”
“Let me get to the point, it started from National award ceremony! Some online blog wrote about me vanishing from the venue after the event! Which itself does not make sense! The answer to that, I was shooting for a music video since 8 in the morning and had to get back and complete the shooting as my team was waiting back in Kirtipur. I was present there In spite of the shoots because Seniors from film fraternity and Board members invited me and being a responsible person of the film fraternity I had to be there,” Shrestha wrote.
“About the National Award: I don’t want to discuss this! Neither I am Jury nor the board member! It’s their job to decide.”
“But the most saddening part is how newsmaker started blowing it up creating baseless news with tabloid titles, which does not relate to the content. Why?? Don’t u think u should have some ethics? Do I even need to respond towards such baseless news from certain blog or politics behind it?”
Questioning the ethics of journalism, she wrote, “I feel proud as an artist/filmmaker but these kinds of news and newsmakers make me question the profession and the entire fraternity,” she said.
“Namrata getting wrapped in a scandal came into light when she, after appearing in the National Award Ceremony held recently in Kathmandu, disappeared from the scene. Journalists attending the ceremony searched Namrata from pillar to post but no to avail,” reported metrofever.com.
“The journos adjudged it to be a move of objection regarding the decision of juries when the title of Best Actress 2015 was awarded to Richa Sharma instead of Namrata Shrestha, against the decision made earlier, and quickly produced news reports without interviewing the sources, including Namrata,” it further said.
Actress Karishma Manandhar also slammed the online and blog reports as fake and fabricated after she was quoted in some reports.
PRIYANKA KARKI WARDROBE MALFUNCTION CONTROVERSY
Priyanka Karki is a huge name in the Nepali film industry. Though known as ‘beauty with brain, the 31-year old actress is not secluded from various controversies.
Karki was dragged into a huge controversy in 2014 after a media published news of her wardrobe malfunction including a picture. The photographer had exposed her private parts under her blue skirt and the photo had a glimpse of her underwear, as it seems, she was wearing at a success party of Nai Nabhannu La 2.
The picture was published by merocinema.com, according to Karki. At the time of publication, she was in Hong Kong attending a function.
The photo and news were then reproduced and circulated by other media using spicy headlines such as ‘Priyanka Karki exposing herself’, ‘Priyanka Karki’s weapon panty’, ‘Priyanka Karki’s panty making headlines’ and so on.
Enraged by the news and exposure of her improper photo–which went viral—and frustrated by the negative remarks and dirty comments she received in social media, Karki, on her Facebook page, slammed the irresponsible journalism complaining the attack on her character.
Karki later clarified that her status was targeted to hate messages and negative comments.
But she deleted her status after receiving suggestions that her status could offend somebody, according to Karki.
According to reports, she had accused the journalist of photoshopping a patch of her white t-shirt to highlight her underwear while she was actually wearing a short black inner wear (slacks) not as shown in the photo.
A week later, film journalist Jeevan Parajuli lodged a complaint at the Film Journalist Association Nepal (FJAN) against her accusation. The complaint prompted FJAN to deal with Karki regarding journalism ethics.
Responding to the complaint, Karki wrote a four-page long letter to the FJAN stating that the online media had violated the code of journalism ethics and the news and photo had severely damaged her character.
She also argued that the Facebook status was on her personal Facebook account and expressed surprise why would Parajuli be offended by her facebook status.
She also accepted ‘no objection’ toward the published photo stating that it could be the part of her which t-shirt she had tucked in under her skirt.
In the letter, she sought justice claiming herself as the victim of irresponsible journalism stating that the news had not only affected her personal life but also her professional life.
Later the FJAN, heeding Karki call, issued a press release stating that the issue had been resolved as Karki had deleted her facebook status and taken her words back.
Karki also faced another controversy after she shared a photo of her with her new car in her post. Following the post, rumors that Karki misused the money raised for helping the victims of devastating 2015 April earthquake–which killed more than 9000 people in Nepal—to buy a new car.
Responding to the rumors, Karki wrote a ‘heartbroken’ message clarifying that she had bought the car two days before the earthquake and had sheltered in her car in the aftermath.
She further clarified that the amount collected from the UK charity, which was Rs 500,000, was not yet sent to Nepal by the organizers.
In the post, she also said that the negative rumors instead of the congratulatory message had made her sad adding it was her “foolishness” to share her happiness with the fans, friends, and relatives.
Actress Pooja Lama cannot be kept away from the list since controversies never stopped surrounding her throughout her career.
Married at the age of 18 and divorced within a year, she was notorious for posing for topless photographs in various online magazines.
Actress Lama came to highlight when she tried to kill herself taking excessive sleeping pills after her love affair with actor Dinesh DC turned sour.
She came to controversy when her sex video with boyfriend DJ Shishir was leaked in social media. They got married shortly. But their marriage did not end well. Devastated by this, she left the country and stayed in Doha for some months.
Lama returned to Nepal in 2013 but took all the people by surprise announcing that she, born and raised in a Buddhist family, had reverted to Islam. She had changed her name to Amna Farooqi.
She in an interview with revert2islamtoday said that she started studying religions a year ago and had embraced Islam religion because she wanted to “forget her past” and changing religion had made her “happy”.
She also clarified that she did not want to accuse the media who tried to defame her because it is “business for them”.