LOS ANGELES, CA – A storm broke out on Aug 16 morning as Los Angelenos woke up to Twitter feed from Bollywood actress Raveena Tandon , the Grand Marshall at the Independence Day celebrations held in Artesia Park the evening of Aug 15 , accusing some members of the United Federation of Indo-Americans of...
Vineet and Agnihotri said what conspired on the stage was the culmination of a chain of events that started on Aug 14 when UFICA and FIA held a joint reception to welcome Tandon at Amaya Restaurant in Buena Park. They alleged that from the start of the visit Tandon did not abide by the contractual obligations she had signed off on and what they asked of her were not ‘unrealistic demands.’
Tandon arrived late for the reception and failed to stay on for the two hours according to the contract but only for 45 minutes. She did not watch the cultural show put up by local kids. In her defense , Tandon said she was late because the dress she was to wear which was being provided by a local boutique, did not arrive in time. She also clarified that she was not aware of being in attendance for the cultural show. All the contract stated was that she was required to attend a dinner and meet & greet. She also said she was not well. She alleged that Vineet was “very rude to her for being late.” Vineet denied these allegations saying that he had dealt with many stars in the past and he knew how to behave with them.
The UFICA members also alleged that on the next day Aug 15, Tandon did not allow some kids who were to drive with her in the limo to enter the car as she was unwell and wanted to sleep en route to the event. Tandon told IJ that she had not been informed about this arrangement and as she was not keeping well she did not want to infect the kids on the drive to Artesia.
They members alleged that Tandon made a late appearance at the event on Aug 15 at Artesia Park where the crowds were eagerly awaiting her arrival. Instead of being there at 8 pm she arrived at 9:20 pm which did not leave enough time for the rest of the show which had to end at 10 pm due to city restrictions. Three dance performances had to be cancelled which they said was unfair as the three groups, mainly of children, had been waiting in the scorching heat since 5 pm to perform in front of Tandon.
When the show ended, Tandon asked to leave. It was then that Agnihotri , who according to the UFICA statement who was not “drunk” asked her to leave on her own as the limo was not available. This is when the drama started. Tandon allegedly was very rude to Agnihotri as she tweeted “I did give him a piece of my mind too.. That’s no way to talk to anyone.” The UFICA statement also alleged that Tandon in an attempt to assault Agnihotri“ threw a metal buckled purse at him and nearly missed him.”
In response to these allegations, Tandon told IJ, that the limo reached the residence where she was staying in Marina Del Rey at 7:45 pm whereas she had been told that she would be picked up at 7 pm. So by the time she got to Artesia Park it was already past 9 pm and it took her 20 minutes to get to the stage due to difficulties experienced in parking the limo. She blamed her tardy appearance at the show on the organizers saying that she had not been informed that the event had to end promptly at 10 pm. She also alleged that the organizers did not provide her with the limo at the end of the show according to the contract, and she was left high and dry and had to find her way back. She alleged that Agnihotri grabbed the mic from her hand and would not let her speak to the retreating crowds to clarify her position.
She told IJ,“ I have been in the film industry for 25 years and know how to conduct myself. It is easy for people to blame artists for misbehavior.” She went on to add that she has a long track record of concerts and shows in Los Angeles and has had no problems so far and wondered why these “allegations” were being hurled at her this time.
In their defense, the UFICA statement said,“ In the past 10 years, we have never experienced problems with our Grand Marshalls. Amisha Patel, Celina Jaitley, Gulshan Grover, Mahima Chaudhury, Mallika Sherawat, Minisha Lamba, Neha Dupia, Priyanka Chopra and Upen Patel were amazing ambassadors of India and the Indian film industry. ” They urged Tandon to learn something from “your colleagues and someday represent India positively.” They also urged her not to turn this spat into a social media war and attempt to influence the media with a one-sided version of the events.