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B'wood wannabe's sex romp: starlet may sue tabloid

IANS
May 23, 2008 at 11:51am IST

Sydney: Australian entertainer-turned Bollywood starlet Tania Zaetta may sue and demand compensation for unsubstantiated allegations made in a News Limited tabloid on Thursday that she had sex with Australian soldiers while on an Armed Forces Entertainment Tour to Afghanistan.

Zaetta, who has refuted the claims as 'complete made-up lies', told News Limited: "When things like this get into countries like that (India) it's not taken lightly. Sex scandals - rumoured, alleged, bad Chinese whispers, whatever it is - aren't taken lightly in a country like that."

Claims that her Bollywood career is in jeopardy are too far fetched as the 37-year-old has played only minor cameo roles in films like Salaam Namaste and Mr. Black, Mr. White.

ITEM BOMB: Tania has played cameo roles in films like Salaam Namaste and Mr Black, Mr White.

The international media has been quick to pick up this sleazy story of sex and scandal from a report in a national tabloid as an embarrassed Department of Defence issued an apology to Zaetta for the sex scandal leak amidst reports that she was going to sue the Department of Defence.

In an interview with Nine Network's Today programme, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said: "She's of course entitled to her legal rights and she should prosecute those based on the advice that she receives. I won't comment on that... there's a full defence investigation under way in relation to two matters - what transpired there (Afghanistan), and secondly, on the question of the actual handling of this document."

Zaetta was named in a confidential briefing paper - officially referred to as a "Hot Issues Brief" - to Australia's Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon as having slept with special forces soldiers last month at a military base in Tarin Kowt, the capital of Oruzgan province in Afghanistan.

Defence spokesman Brigadier Andrew Nikolic said: "We apologise unreservedly to those named. We have called on News Limited to assist our enquiries by returning any material they have obtained.

"An initial document, prepared internally to brief the minister, did contain the names but was withdrawn within minutes because of privacy concerns. Importantly, the final version of the document did not include names."

The Department of Defence is currently inquiring into a number of matters, including the allegation of inappropriate behaviour, privacy concerns, and the unauthorised disclosure.

"I have seen those reports and as I understand it these matters are under investigation within the defence department and I will leave it for that investigation to reach its own conclusions", Rudd told newspersons in Adelaide Friday.

Zaetta co-hosted the 1990s television show Who Dares Wins and has appeared on Baywatch and Mission Implausible, a British pay-TV show.

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