Meet B-Town's Controversy Queens

Leading the controversy bandwagon is Kingfisher model Poonam Pandey, whose first brush with notoriety came when she offered to strip if Team India won the World Cup in 2011…

Pretty young things, till recently, were finding it tough to get a foothold in Bollywood, which is being ruled by Kareena, Katrina and Priyanka. The wannabes had only two options either to fight or to perish. They chose neither. There indeed was a shortcut to fame! And that was to ‘orchestrate’ incidents, make scandals of it and reap the fame (or infamy) thereof. To the absolute astonishment of the prude, this strategy worked; the babes raced up the ladder and became a permanent fixture on Page 3. Effervescent and with an insatiable thirst for power, they set out to conquer Bollywood, one controversy at a time.

Poonam-PandeyPoonam Pandey
Leading the controversy bandwagon is Kingfisher model Poonam Pandey, whose first brush with notoriety came when she offered to strip if Team India won the World Cup in 2011. Thereon, Poonam has offered to bare all at the drop of a hat and shockingly, without reason. Come June 28, 2012, the only thing that stood between Poonam and her excitement at IPL’s KKR win were those ‘wretched’ clothes that she had on. So she took the most obvious next step and shed them.
Dubbed ‘Stripping Pandey’, she even went so far as to post a raunchy video of a striptease in the shower calling it ‘My Bathing Secrets’. This young attention seeker created quite a stir in the media by posting ‘nearly nude’ pictures of herself on Twitter. As if that weren’t enough, Poonam resorted to numerous public spats with celebrities, hitting them with her infamous comeback tweet: ‘Envy me; Hate me; Rate me. Face it…You’re never gonna be me.’ The starlet made her Bollywood debut with ‘Nasha’ (2013).

Veena MalikVeenaMalik1
This uber-hot Pakistani siren arrived in Mumbai in style. She took part in season four of Bigg Boss, where she and housemate Ashmit Patel were seen cozying, cuddling, embracing and what not. She was ‘condemned’ for her ‘immoral behavior’ on the show. Next, Veena appeared almost nude on the cover of FHM magazine, sporting Pakistan’s ‘ISI’ initials on her arm. This steamy snap caused quite an uproar among conservative communities on both sides of the borderVeena was supposed to appear on ‘Veena ka Vivah’, a ‘swayamvar’ format show on Imagine TV. We now hear that the show has been shelved.

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Sunny-LeoneSunny Leone
One of the most talked-about new faces in Bollywood, Indo-Canadian Karen Malhotra started off as a porn star. Sunny Leone is her screen name.This ‘Penthouse Pet of the Year’ slipped under the radar and into the Bigg Boss house on day 49. It is said that her appearance on the show triggered a TRP tsunami; the show’s Twitter page became richer by 8,000 followers in just two days. Her popularity began to soar with each episode. She was then offered the lead role in ‘Jism 2’. Sunny Leone who challenged the prudes with her bold avatar in ‘Jism 2’ says, ‘Porn star doesn’t mean prostitute’. Quotable indeed!

Pooja MisraPooja-Misra
Often referred to as ‘the other Pooja’, Misra began her career as a VJ, model, actress, and socialite. She even hosted a TV show called ‘Jab We Talk’, where she sorted people’s ‘love’ problems.Not very ‘loved’ herself, Pooja was ousted from the ‘Bigg Boss’ season 5 house for her ‘mentally imbalanced’ behavior. She was constantly seen picking up fights, breaking things and squabbling with her housemates during the stay. Before ‘Bigg Boss’ and before hotelier Timmy Narang and Isha Koppikar were married, Pooja filed a police complaint against the couple alleging harassment ever since she resisted Timmy’s advances. She even named Timmy’s sister Ramona and Shatrughan Sinha’s wife Poonam in the complaint, alleging they had installed spyware in her phone and sent goons to destroy her car. Okay. Maybe it’s time Pooja Misra stopped watching those ‘the world is conspiring against me’ thrillers.

Kashmera-ShahKashmera Shah
Former model and actor, Kashmera is blessed with a different set of ‘talents’; she is best known for her publicity stunts. Kashmera’s topless calendar shoot and PDA-approved romantic relationships have been areas of media interest. Kashmera’s on-off relationship with Krushna Abhishek was most talked about. Their troubled affair was telecast on ‘Love Lockup’, a show that helped struggling couples work on their issues. Intense drama, enraged verbal exchanges, and passionate love-making were prominently on display during the show (and off!). She is even known as India’s Most Exotic Export.

Rakhi SawantRakhi-Sawant
Where do we start…? Flesh-flashing Rakhi burst on to the screen when she was cast as an ‘item’ in ‘Mohabbat Hai Mirchi’. A series of Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Telugu and Tamil films and a string of controversies followed. But Rakhi really shot to fame (infamy?) in 2006 when singer Mika Singh tried to forcibly kiss her at a birthday party. Receiving wide media coverage, Rakhi milked mileage from the incident as she entered into the famed ‘Bigg Boss’ house. Her dramatized presence only earned her more reality shows as a host, contestant and judge. In a bizarre turn, Rakhi even made the headlines with allegations that she drove a participant on her TV show to take his own life. Rakhi was lately in the news for slamming southern star Dhanush for cancelling a performance at the last minute where the two were supposed to shake a leg for ‘Kolaveri di’. But she has forgiven him now. Dhanush, how could you?

Paoli-DamPaoli Dam
Bollywood’s newest ‘bong-shell’ has created quite the buzz with her debut release ‘Hate Story’. The actress’ popularity soared great heights, all thanks to her bare back posters. Already a popular Bengali actress, who is said to have shed all her clothes for her role in Bengali film ‘Chatrak’ (which has been promoted as ‘India’s boldest film’), Paoli says, ‘As an actress, I think beyond boldness. Making a debut in Bollywood with a bold character was not my conscious decision. I love roles that have layers to them.’

Sayali BhagatSayali-Bhagat
Enter Sayali, an ex-beauty queen with a vengeance! A few modeling assignments and a couple of films later, this Miss India’s career wasn’t really doing much for her. She needed a break, and fast. Sayali shocked with claims that industry seniors Amitabh Bachchan, Sajid Khan and Arya Babbar had ‘misbehaved’ with her. After receiving ample media attention from the claims, Sayali went on to dismiss the allegations as well-concocted rumours and later as misquotations. Rampant sexual harassment in the industry forced her to ‘quit’ acting, she stated, but later went on to deny having said that too! Poor Sayali. She is just ‘Miss. Understood’.

neetu chandraNeetu Chandra
An avid sportsperson, Neetu is a black belt in Taekwondo. Neetu, remembered for her racy girl-on-girl photo shoot for a men’s magazine, irked the moral police brigade with another nearly-nude spread. The political and film fraternity condemned the images while the magazine went on to publish them and create quite a controversy. Garnering attention, and enjoying it, Neetu found herself in a match-fixing controversy next. Rumour has it that Neetu is quite busy being demure these days, as she tries to shed her glamour girl image and fill into a wifely mould (Read Randeep Hooda!). No more scandals then?

Payal Rohatgipayal-rahatgi
This rather voluptuous computer engineer, although not among the big league of actors, has been acting in films since 2002. In 2008, Payal entered the ‘Bigg Boss’ household along with fellow contestant and ‘close friend’ Rahul Mahajan. Of course, they were romantically involved and their ‘closeness’ was very apparent to viewers. The couple reportedly broke up later with Payal citing abuse and physical assault as the main reasons for their split. Later, she would go on to drag director Dibakar Banerjee into a casting couch scandal. She reportedly moved on with South African cricketer Herschelle Gibbs and, more recently, Sangram Singh.

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