Bobby Bedi, the producer of big budget Indian feature The Rising, has spoken out following reports that Indian conglomerate Sahara India has pulled out of the film.
Sahara issued a statement last month saying that the company was withdrawing its association with The Rising because Aishwarya Rai - who is a director on the board of Sahara India - was no longer starring in it.
Rai quit the project last month following a disagreement over pay. "We should have been intimated and consulted before she was so unceremoniously thrown out of the project," said Sushanto Roy, head of media and entertainment at Sahara.
However, Bedi told ScreenDaily.com that Sahara India has had no discussion with him for investing in the film or taking any credits in the film.
The argument over Sahara's role in the film centres on Indian film production outfit Entertainment One, which has an agreement with Sahara India that sees the conglomerate invest in its motion picture ventures.
Entertainment One is one of the investors in The Rising. In a press statement this week, it said: "It is unfortunate that due to certain issues related to Ms. Aishwarya Rai, Sahara India Mass Communication Ltd. has had to take a stand to pull out of this project, and we respect their decision. Entertainment One India Ltd. and Sahara India Pariwar would like to have a long-standing relationship in times to come."
According to Bedi "There has been no investment from Sahara in The Rising but Entertainment One is one of our investors and there has been no change in their investment in the project". Bedi, added "Sahara was never in this film so there is no question of it pulling out"
Meanwhile, actress Amisha Patel has replaced Rai in the film, which now starts shooting next month.