A member of the Bahraini royal family is being sued for £35million at Britain’s High Court after agreeing to pay a fortune to meet his Bollywood film idols – before going back on his word.
Sheikh Hamad Isa Ali al-Khalifa, 50, allegedly struck a multi-million pound deal with an Egyptian businessman for exclusive one-on-one meetings with his favourite stars.
Ahmed Adel Abdallah Ahmed, 43, who runs an events firm, said the royal made a list of 26 Bollywood stars he was desperate to meet.
Sheikh Hamad Isa Ali al-Khalifa, 50, allegedly pulled out of a multi-million pound deal with an Egyptian businessman
He’d drawn up a 26-man list of celebrities he was desperate to meet, including former Miss World Aishwarya Rai
It included A-listers such as Slumdog Millionaire star Anil Kapoor and former Miss World and Bride and Prejudice star Aishwarya Rai.
Bunty Walla, Sanjay Dutt, Deepika Padukone and Karishma Kapoor were also reportedly on the wish list.
According to court papers, Mr Ahmed said the sheikh – cousin of the King of Bahrain and nephew of the Prime Minister – agreed to pay more than £1.1m per 20-minute meeting in various luxury hotels in Dubai and India.
The businessman claims the royal cut the deal short after meeting just four of the 26 actors – having paid only £2.3m.
He also alleges that he pulled out of a £400,000 deal to sponsor The Times of India Film Awards.
Mr Ahmed said: ‘Given the positive relationship I felt we had built up during our work, I feel betrayed.’
Slumdog Millionaire star Anil Kapoor was also scheduled for a 15-minute one-on-one meeting with the royal
Mr Ahmed is suing the sheikh for damages and a breach of contract.
In court papers, the sheikh’s defence claims he was told each encounter would cost £30,000 to £50,000.
He claims he felt ‘threatened’ by Mr Ahmed and believed he ‘was seeking to take an unfair advantage of him’.
Mr Ahmed argued the case should be heard in London because the sheikh spends ‘a large part of his time’ in the capital and owns several British bank accounts.
He also believed he wouldn’t get a fair trial in Bahrain.