Media just turned me into a `slut` in IPL row: Sunanda

Last Updated: Friday, April 23, 2010 - 20:30

New Delhi: Sunanda Pushkar, who was at the
centre of the IPL Kochi controversy that led to Shashi
Tharoor`s exit from government, says the media just turned her
into a `slut`, some kind of `brainless eye candy`.

Dubbing as a "medieval witch hunt" the media scrutiny on
her after the controversy raged, Sunanda said, "I have always
been proud that I have made it alone--on my own terms--in a
man’s world. And here, in one minute, without bothering to find out
any facts the media just turned me into a slut, into some kind
of brainless eye candy! I don’t know why people find it so
hard to understand this."
The 48-year old marketing professional said she met
Tharoor two years back but had developed "closeness" in the
past five months only.

"We are certainly close now, but that closeness only
developed less than five months ago. I am very proud to know
him because, most of all, he is a good and honest man,"
Sunanda said in an interview to Tehelka magazine. She met
Tharoor two years ago through a common friend.

Sunanda came into public spotlight when IPL
Commissioner Lalit Modi tweeted revealing her stake
in IPL Kochi and questioned the merit on which she was given
sweat equity worth Rs 70 crore in the new franchisee.

Modi had also alleged that Tharoor had asked him not
to reveal the names of the team franchisee.

While the controversy led to Tharoor`s exit as
Minister of State for External Affairs, Sunanda, who is based
in Dubai, returned her sweat equity.
Claiming that Tharoor has been "hounded out, for now -
ironically - for not being dirty enough", Sunanda suggested
that he was comparable to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and
Rahul Gandhi and said these three men gave hope to millions of
Indians across the world that even clean men can join
politics.

Denying that she was a proxy for Tharoor, she said
"Can’t I make my own money? He has not been corrupt for so
many years for which I am proud to be his friend-- why would
he be corrupt now? Just look around you in India and see the
corruption in government, in industry, in every crevice of
public life and they call this corruption!".

Candidly admitting she enjoys "making money", Sunanda
said, "I think there`s absolutely nothing wrong with a woman
being ambitious. I like cars and watches but I don`t need any
man to get anything for me. My kick is to buy it myself. I
like to earn my own keep.

"I would be very happy to set up home with a man I loved,
but I would not marry a man just because he can buy me
diamonds. I am not judgemental about women who do that, I am
just saying I wouldn`t. So when people say I got into all this
as a front for Shashi, chasing influence and money, it savages
my soul. What else can I say?"

On her introduction to IPL, she said she was in touch
with Kolkata Knight Riders` (KKR) Karim and Ali Murani, whom
she was generally giving ideas about marketing and packaging
of the team. However, since her son was still in school, the
things did not go any further.

On the sweat equity in Kochi IPL, Sunanda said, "I did
agree to offer my skills as a marketing consultant. I have a
knack for it. I also helped them raise a lot of money. But
there`s been absolutely no exchange of money between us.

"I don`t even have the shares. It`s more like a
promissory note with absolutely no guarantee that the shares
will amount to anything".

Sunanda also expressed optimism that this phase will
also pass. "I am sure there is a larger lesson to be learnt
and I am sure I am going to grow from this. And mark my words,
I will grow, I will come out of this a bigger and better
person. I can feel it in my bones."

PTI



First Published: Friday, April 23, 2010 - 20:30

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