Father Tries to Sell Slumdog Kid

The father of nine-year-old Rubina Ali, one of the impoverished young Mumbai slum dwellers who starred in Slumdog Millionaire, tried to sell his daughter for $300,000. Men posing as representatives for an Arab sheikh (who were in fact reporters from British tabloid News of the World) drew the girl's father, Rafiq Qureshi, into the negotiations. He complained that his family "got nothing out of this film" while his brother noted, "The child is special now. This is not an ordinary child. This is an Oscar child!" News of the World reports that Qureshi's plan to sell his child to the highest bidder was well known among family and friends. His plan to pass her off through an illegal adoption was subject to "a tip-off from a concerned close family friend and former neighbor," writes News of the World, which reports that the sale of impoverished children is not uncommon in Mumbai's slums. The attempt to sell Rubina comes at the tail end of a series of disturbing exploitations of the Slumdog stars, including her male co-star's father reportedly beating him to force him to stay awake to give interviews for money.