Slumdog Millionaire child star’s father denies he tried to sell her

Rubiana AliAccording to Britain’s paper News of the World, Slumdog Millionaire nine-year-old star Rubina Ali’s father, Qureshi offered to sell her. Trying to prove that her father was considering adoption offers, reporters went undercover as a wealthy family from Dubai, interested in adopting the girl and initially offered “around £50,000” in compensation. Qureshi reportedly tried to increase this to £200,000 ($292,000). “I have to consider what’s best for me, my family and Rubina’s future,” her dad was quoted saying. He claims to be broke, saying Slumdog did not make money for the family. The paper reports that Ali was originally being sold for $75,000, but her father raised the price after Slumdog‘s success. “The child is special now,” Ali’s uncle said. “This is an Oscar child!” Ali and her co-star Azharuddin Ismail reportedly receive a monthly stipend of $42 to pay for books and food from the Slumdog producers, who also set up trust funds for them, which they’ll receive after graduating from school. However, though their parents are reportedly disappointed that the film’s success did not bring them out of the slums, Qureshi has since denied the paper’s accusations. In a BBC news interview, he said he had been trapped into a situation of “great temptation” but did not accept a deal to sell his daughter. He claims to have had three meetings at a hotel with the reporters, on the last of which he was asked to speak to someone on the phone. This person was introduced as the husband of one of the wealthy family members, who thanked Qureshi for allowing Ali to be adopted. “In broken Hindi he thanked me for letting Rubina come to Dubai to live,” Qureshi reported. “It was then that it occurred to me they were making a deal on my child. I put the phone down and told them we were leaving the hotel.” He says the British magazine “played dirty with us, but we didn’t accept any money from them. My daughter is not for sale.” ~Meryl H.

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Nancy • April 20, 2009 @ 12:15 PM

    And the race is on between Angelina and Madonna! 😛 Seriously though, trying to sell your child? That’s really low. It’s one thing to not be able to afford to take care of your child(ren) and give them up for adoption…it’s another to try to “sell” them!

  2. mandee • April 20, 2009 @ 1:22 PM

    i agree. especially since you really have no idea what you are selling them into. what if these werent reporters? what if they were sex crazed maniacs and offered him more than what he was asking? then where would that poor little girl be? she is cute. i never saw this movie. im glad the producers didnt hand the money over to the parents, they didnt earn it. it is kind of like he already TRIED to sell his daughter anyway. making her go act in a movie so that she could earn him money to get out of the slums? i dont understand the 42$ part though. they should be allowing the kids that acted in the movie more than that. what happens when she does get older and needs feminine products etc and her dad cant afford them?

  3. ke • April 20, 2009 @ 3:43 PM

    i agree completely. this is wrong. unfortunately, though, some people in the third world are so poor that they do resort to selling their children. an example is that some kids are being horded off as sex commodities. they lend their child for sex, using them as child prostitutes. the family then gets paid and so they have money to survive another week. its terrible and tragic but it happens every day in so many parts of the world.

  4. tributegirl • April 20, 2009 @ 4:35 PM

    I also agree, but unfortunately that seems to be a way of life in some places. I once heard of a woman who tried to sell her baby for a tv set, I forget where that was, but apparently it is a very common thing there. Sickening. The poor children, even if they luck out and end up in a good situation, how scary to be taken away from everyone and everything you know.

  5. Mary • April 20, 2009 @ 6:05 PM

    How fortunate we females are to have been born in North America. If these men would stop forcing their wives for sex and impregnating them these poor babies would not have to face these situations. It seems the poorer the country mothers and their children take the brunt of it.I wonder with all the help given to the poor if things will ever change. It would be nice to see the makers of the film to come to her aid and place her in a good boarding school and give her the education she’ll need. Disgusting father.

  6. Carol • April 20, 2009 @ 7:34 PM

    It is a shame. The poor girl. But I thought that even though they didn’t pay much for the making of the film, they were ensuring the actors in the movie an education and other benefits like that.
    Regardless, you don’t sell you children, but who are we in this discussion? As wrong as we see it, we don’t know or could never understand their lifestyle. He may think they will both win in this situation.

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