Kochi: A controversy has broken out in the Kerala film industry, with producer Joby George telling the media on Thursday that he has been cheated by upcoming actor Shane Nigam.
"He (Nigam) took Rs 30 lakh from me for my film "Veyil" and later asked for another Rs 10 lakh. He is now skulking, and not reporting to finish the remaining portion of the film," said George, adding that it would take "another 10 days" for him to wrap up his film.
George pointed out that according to the agreement Nigam is duty-bound not to cut his hair as this is required for the role he plays. However, the actor has violated the agreement for a role in another film.
"I have already raised the issue with the Producers Association. I did speak to him, but I never ever used foul language and my tone was never threatening as he has claimed in a video that he has put out," said George who recently produced superstar Mammootty's film "Kasaba".
George said his film was scheduled to release this month but will now be delayed. He added that he has already spent Rs 4.75 crore on his project.
Trouble broke out after Nigam's video went viral. In the video the 23-year-old actor is seen accusing George of threatening him with dire consequences. In the video, Nigam also claims that George would have him eliminated because he cut his hair.
Nigam, 23, said he had informed people who mattered in both films about cropping his hair, adding that he had brought the entire matter to the attention of Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA).
Nigam is the son of popular mimicry artiste and film actor Kalabhavan Abhi, who passed away in 2017.
With both parties taking the issue to the public domain, office bearers of the Producers Association and AMMA have taken up the issue, and doing their best to ensure things don't flare up further.