The father of Slumdog Millionaire child actress Rubina Ali tried to sell his nine-year-old daughter for adoption in a bid to escape the Mumbai slums, a British newspaper said on Sunday.
News of the World alleged that Rafiq Qureshi wanted Rs 20 million ($400,000) for the girl, who played the young Latika in the British hit film set in India.
Slumdog Millionaire, a rags-to-riches tale of children from the slums of Mumbai, won eight Oscars in February, including the best picture Academy Award.
News of the World said its reporters posed as a wealthy family from Dubai, employing its regular "fake sheikh" sting tactic.
The weekly tabloid said a Mumbai informant told them that Qureshi was touting for the highest offer, having already been approached by a Middle Eastern family.
The newspaper published pictures of the actress, her father and uncle posing with their undercover reporter, plus video clips of Qureshi and his brother-in-law during their meeting last week.
"Yes, we are considering Rubina's future," Qureshi was quoted as saying. He put the reporter in touch with his brother-in-law Rajan More.
"We are interested in securing our girl's future," the star's uncle was quoted as saying. "If you wanted to adopt we could discuss this, but her parents would also expect some proper compensation in return.
Qureshi, Ali, More and some other relatives met the British reporters in a Mumbai hotel, the newspaper said.
"We need two or three months," Qureshi allegedly said. More added: "Until then we can negotiate the amount. We'll come to Dubai, the girl will come and go."
"It's 20 million rupees," the uncle was quoted as saying. This discussion will not go beyond the three of us."
Qureshi proudly carried Ali through the Mumbai slums in February after she returned from the Oscar glory of Hollywood.