Maxim, the men’s international lifestyle magazine, is getting a lot more than it bargained for in terms of visibility in the media. Chennai-based actress Khushboo is pressing charges against the magazine on three counts following the publication of a picture of a scantily clad woman with her face above it in Maxim’s inaugural issue.
Commenting on the charges she planned to press against Maxim, Khushboo said, “I am serious about pressing the charges – defamation, criminal charges, and the objectionable representation of women. Their representatives have called me repeatedly, but I am not ready to accept any apologies that they have to offer. The simple reason is that the damage cannot be undone.”
Khushboo’s lawyer Karthikeyan reasoned that the magazine’s foreign origins could not mean that the publishers would escape liability.
The doctored image is stamped with the message ‘100 per cent fake’. A quote beneath the photograph added to the actress’ ire – a reference to a past controversy following her comments to India Today weekly’s Tamil edition.
Piyush Sharma, CEO, Maxim (India), said, “We have apologised for whatever has happened and there is nothing intended here. We regret that the whole thing has happened. The whole thing has been blown out of proportion. We are expecting that the whole matter will be resolved very soon.”
However, the actress seems to be in no mood to be pacified. “Some sections of the media seem to believe that using film personalities and political leaders and other prominent people in the society is the best way to sell copies of their publications. It could happen to anybody, and people from the film world are perhaps perceived as easy targets. Don’t play around with us. We do exercise a lot of patience. But don’t push it. If I let this pass today, someone will do this to someone else from my industry tomorrow,” Khushboo seethed.
Maxim had launched in India at an invitation price of Rs 60, with an advance paid subscriber base of around 16,500, and an initial print order of 80,000 copies. The first issue of the Indian edition (30th internationally), which has embroiled itself in the controversy, has Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra on the cover.
One wonders if the present FDI policy for print media will come under the scanner after this episode.