The Elephant Whisperers' Bomman changes stance against Kartiki Gonsalves: 'I don't know what happened'
The Elephant Whisperers' Bomman has now changed his previous statement against director Kartiki Gonsalves. He had sent her a notice demanding ₹2 crore.
Mahout Bomman, who starred in the Oscar-winning documentary The Elephant Whisperers, has retracted his previous statement that he made on filmmaker Kartiki Gonsalves. As per an India Today report, Bomman and Bellie had claimed that they had paid for the wedding scene in the documentary and Kartiki is yet to return their money. They had also levelled several allegations against Kartiki. (Also Read | The Elephant Whisperers' Bomman, Bellie send legal notice asking Kartiki Gonsalves for ₹2 cr)
What Bomman says now
Now, India Today quoted Bomman as saying, "I did not say I would take back the case if my demands were met. I don't know what happened there. I don't know who sent the legal notice or the advocate. I don't have any pieces of evidence. Kartiki spoke to me well and said that she'd help me." When asked if he would go forward with the case, Bomman added, "What will I do with the case? They have promised to help me and given this job."
What Bomman said a few days ago
In an interview with Behindwoods in Tamil, as quoted by India Today, a few days ago Bomman and Bellie spoke about the wedding scene in the documentary. They said that Kartiki wanted to shoot the wedding scene in one day but didn't have the money for it and asked them to arrange the same. They added that it ‘cost us around ₹1 lakh’. Even though Kartiki promised them that she would return the money, she didn't pay them yet.
They also alleged Kartiki Gonsalves never let them ‘touch and hold the Oscar statuette during the felicitation’. They also said that after they returned to Coimbatore from Mumbai, they did not have the money for the journey back to their home in the Nilgiris. When they asked her for money for the journey, she said ‘she did not have any and will arrange it soon’.
Bomman and Bellie issued a legal notice: Report
Earlier news agency PTI had reported that Bomman and Bellie issued a legal notice and sought a ‘goodwill gesture’ of ₹2 crore from Kartiki. In the legal notice, it is stated that the couple was promised a proper house and an all-terrain multi-purpose vehicle and sufficient financial support as a one-time lump sum payment (without mentioning the amount) as compensation for their time, based on the income generated from the project.
The legal notice also said that on the one hand, the couple was introduced as “the real heroes" to the elite, celebrities, sports persons and political leaders, gaining wide publicity for them. But on the other hand, the filmmaker got all the financial benefits from Tamil Nadu chief minister and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. When PTI reached out to Bomman, he said he was advised not to talk about the case anymore.
What did Guneet Monga's Sikhya Entertainment state
The Elephant Whisperers was directed by Kartiki Gonsalves. It was backed by Guneet Monga's banner Sikhya Entertainment. After reports about Bomman and Bellie's case, Sikhya Entertainment Pvt Ltd issued a statement to PTI.
A part of it read, “Chief minister of Tamil Nadu M K Stalin has made donations towards assisting the 91 mahouts and cavadis who look after the state's elephants, constructing eco-friendly houses for the caretakers and developing an elephant camp in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve...All claims made are untrue. We have deep respect for all of the contributors of this story, and remain driven by the desire to create positive change.”