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Sheikh sued for £35m over 'deal' to meet string of Bollywood stars

Sheikh sued for £35m over 'deal' to meet string of Bollywood stars

A member of the Bahraini royal family is being sued for £35 million over claims he pulled out of an “extraordinary” deal to meet a string of Bollywood movie stars.

Sheikh Hamad Isa Ali al-Khalifa allegedly drew up a list of 26 A-listers that he wanted to meet, including Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai. It is said he struck an agreement with Egyptian businessman Ahmed Adel Abdallah Ahmed to arrange the meetings in luxury hotels around the world.

But after meeting film stars Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Ranveer Singh and Aditya Kapoor in early 2016, the sheikh is a ccused of abandoning the deal.

The sheikh, who is the cousin of the King of Bahrain and nephew to the deputy prime minister, admits paying more than £2.5 million for five meetings. But he denies Mr Ahmed’s claim that there was a binding deal to pay £1.1 million per meeting, plus a $500,000 bonus after every third meeting.

He also denies there was a long-term arrangement in place, claiming that he cut contact with Mr Ahmed after feeling pressured and “threatened”.

The sheikh and Mr Ahmed are due to argue the cl aim at the High Court in London next week.

Top names: Ranveer Singh, left, and Aditya Kapoor met the sheikh

Mr Ahmed claims he is owed up to £35 million after the sheikh allegedly pulled out of the agreement and hired another fixer to set up the Bollywood meetings. He alleges that he was appointed as the sheikh’s “sole or exclusive representative”, and that an “all-in” fee was agreed for each meeting that he set up.

In court papers, he has produced a list of the 26 stars he claims the sheikh wanted to meet. He also claims to have organised for the sheikh to be a sponsor of the Times of India Film Awards, where he would mix with Bollywood stars, but says he was not paid the agreed $500,000 fee. The sheikh denies this agreement was struck.

Defending the claim, the sheikh said he was “very enthusiastic at the prospect of meeting Bollywood stars” after first meeting Mr Ahmed in December 2015. He said he was initially told the stars charged up to $50,000 for a one-on-one meeting, and he handed over an initial $80,000.

But he argues that Mr Ahmed then claimed that meetings can cost $500,000 each.

The sheikh claims he cut off contact when Mr Ahmed “sta rted to put unfair pressure” on him, “making unwarranted demands for very large sums of money and seeking to arrange meetings which were not convenient”.

Sarosh Zaiwalla, a senior partner at law firm Zaiwalla & Co, who is representing Mr Ahmed, called the case “extraordinary”, and added that he expects the sheikh to be cross-examined during the five-day hearing which is due to start on Monday next week.

Source: Google News Hollywood

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