Producer Rockline Venkatesh Saturday asserted that he did not cheat distributors of the Rajinikanth-starrer, Lingaa. He said that if proven guilty, he is ready to give in to the demands of the distributors, who staged a fast in Chennai on January 10, seeking compensation for the heavy losses incurred by them.
Venkatesh told reporters that if “proven guilty of cheating the distributors, I’m ready to accept their demands,” and had not swindled or cheated them by pocketing the profits.
On Thursday, distributor R Singaravadivelan, who bought the Trichy and Thanjavur area rights of Lingaa, moved the Madras High Court, seeking permission to go on a fast along with four other distributors. Venkatesh called the fast a “publicity stunt” aimed at “tarnishing the image of Rajinikanth”.
“Some distributors said the film was released during the wrong time of the year. But we had announced the release date on the first day of the shooting. If they had any problems with the release date, they should’ve requested us to change it in the first place,” he said.
On allegations that the film opened to empty houses on release day in some centres, Venkatesh said, “How many of you believe that the first day shows of a Rajinikanth film will ever be empty. They have ruined the prospects of the film with these baseless statements.”
Venkatesh requested the distributors to stop their protest. The distributors, who observed a day-long fast, said that they’re only doing so to draw the “attention of Rajinikanth”.
“We suffered losses of over Rs.35 crore, distributing Lingaa across Tamil Nadu. Our efforts to get compensation from the producer have failed. Hence, we are observing the fast to draw the attention of Rajini and persuade him to talk to the producer and help us to overcome the losses,” Singaravadivelan said.
In the past, Rajinikanth helped distributors overcome losses when two of his films, Baba and Kuselan bombed at the box-office.