Slumdog Star's Father Furious Over 'Adoption' Scandal
20 April 2009 5:04 AM, PDT
The father of Slumdog Millionaire
child star Rubina Ali
has dismissed allegations he offered to sell the nine-year-old for $300,000 (£200,000) - insisting his daughter means more to him "than life itself".
Rafiq Qureshi, who lives in the slums of Mumbai, India is furious after U.K. tabloid the News of the World accused him of plotting to sell his daughter to an undercover journalist.
But Qureshi has vehemently denied the claims, and is adamant he would never put his daughter - who played the young Latika in the Oscar-winning movie - up for adoption.
He says, "Rubina is so precious to me - even more than life itself. I could not even think about doing anything like that - let alone actually doing it... Life is bad at the moment, of course I want us to get out of this slum. I would never agree to anything like that. Never."
And Ali blames the language barrier for the confusion, adding: "We went to a hotel and met two people who did not speak Hindi. They said they wanted to adopt me, but my father said no."
It also emerged Qureshi possibly thought he was discussing his daughter's next movie role with the undercover reporter.
A source close to the family tells British newspaper The Sun, "Rafiq didn't understand everything that was said to him but he was happy to discuss money for a well-paying job for his daughter. She loves being in movies and the family need the money."