According 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.