April 14: They may be trading insults and allegations since last Sunday but Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor’s office and IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi were quite “friendly” until at least last January.
So much so that the IPL czar is learnt to have asked Tharoor’s office to deny a visa to South African model Gabriella Demetriades, one of the contestants for Miss IPL Bollywood during IPL 2, reports The Indian Express.
E-mails between Modi and the Minister’s office in January show that the model’s visa was due to expire in February 2010 and Modi wanted Tharoor’s office to ensure that her request for the visa’s renewal be turned down.
The Ministry didn’t oblige — and Demetriades did get a visa.
When asked why he wanted her visa blocked, Modi declined to comment. Speaking to The Indian Express from Mumbai tonight, before she left for South Africa, Demetriades, 23, said that she had arrived in India in October last year on a six-month visa.
“I went back in December to renew my visa which was to expire in February. While in South Africa, I lost my passport. I managed to get a temporary passport and, subsequently, a visa from the Indian consulate in Durban in January and then traveled to India,” she said. “I am not associated with IPL 3 and was here only to do modeling assignments and some commercials.”
Asked whether Modi played any role in her visa request, she replied in the negative. Asked about her association with Modi, she said: “He is a friend, we met during last year’s IPL in South Africa.”
The e-mails reveal that Modi kept Tharoor’s office informed about Demetriades losing her passport and applying for a new one. Demetriades, in turn, kept Modi informed about the loss of her passport and her visa application.
Who is Gabriella Demetriades?
South African model Gabriella Demetriades was one of the hottest Miss Bollywood IPL 2009 contestants. Gabriella has been one of the FHM ‘100 Sexiest Women In The World’ nominee and there was surprise when she wasn’t crowned Miss Bollywood 2009.
Gabriella Demetriades is around 26 years old and is one of the top South African models. She has modelled for a number of international fashion publications and most notably, she is one of the FHM 2009 calendar girls.
Another astoundingly brilliant aspect of Gabriella Demetriades is that she hails from Port Elizabeth, the Friendly City. Her measurements are 33-24-33.5.
She was one of the contestants for Miss IPL Bollywood during IPL 2.