Complainant said ₹29 lakh was paid to actor for programme but she did not turn up.
The Ernakulam Crime Branch (CB) unit has recorded a statement from actor Sunny Leone on a petition filed by the coordinator of an event that she was supposed to attend in the district on Valentine’s Day in 2019 but eventually did not.
Shiyas, a resident of Perumbavur, petitioned the State police chief, who forwarded it to the CB.
A CB team met the actor and recorded her statement a couple of days ago at Poovar in Thiruvananthapuram district, where she was shooting for a movie.
The petition alleged Ms. Leone cheated the organisers of ₹29 lakh, which was paid as her fee to attend the programme that was postponed multiple times before it was scheduled to be held at the Adlux International Convention Centre at Angamaly near here.
Ms. Leone reportedly told the CB team that the programme was rescheduled multiple times, clashing with her other engagements, and that the rest of her fee as per the agreement was also not paid. She said a further ₹12.50 lakh, which was to be paid seven days before the event as per the agreement, was not paid till the day of the event, CB sources said.
The team also accessed WhatsApp communication between the parties concerned over the payment dues.
Though the petition was for registering a criminal case of cheating, the police find it to be more in the nature of a civil suit.
The CB is now planning to contact other celebrities who were also supposed to attend the event but failed to turn up. If they also have a similar experience to share, then we may have to suspect the merit of the petition, CB sources said.
Meanwhile, Ms. Leone was amenable to fulfil her commitments if the event was rescheduled as per her convenience and in compliance with the agreement terms, it was learnt.