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Father of Slumdog Star Denies Putting Daughter Up For Sale

The father of Slumdog Millionaire star Rubina Ali has denied putting his daughter up for adoption (or, as the rest of the world says, "sale") to the BBC.

Over the weekend, UK paper News of the World reported he was asking £200,000 (nearly $300,000) for his 9-year-old daughter. I'd like to say it wasn't as sinister as it sounds, but, basically, it was.

Allegedly, it started innocently enough. A Middle Eastern family moved by Rubina's story offered to adopt her, you know, like Madonna does (their words). While this was pretty presumptuous, at least it was well-intentioned: they wanted her to escape the Mumbai ghetto. But the offer sowed an idea into her father's head, and now he's looking to reap bigger rewards.

News of the World reporters contacted Rubina's uncle, telling him they worked for a wealthy sheik in Dubai. (He speaks English on her father's behalf and agreed to meet them.) While her uncle said they were concerned — or "interested" — in the girl's future, he did not ask for the sheik's name, intentions, or background.

"We can discuss everything about this deal when we meet," he said. "There's a lot of interest in Rubina, she's become very famous."


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