Shetty currently lives in Mumbai with her parents and sister. Her younger sister Shamita Shetty is a Bollywood actress and they worked together in the film Fareb in 2005.
Shilpa Shetty was born in a strict and traditional close-knit family that hails from the Bunt community of Karnataka, South India, although she was born in Tamil Nadu. She is the eldest daughter of Surendra and Sunanda Shetty, manufacturers of tamper-proof caps for the pharmaceutical industry, and her native language is Tulu although she can speak nearly ten languages at differing levels including English, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil, Urdu and basic French.
Shetty started her career by modeling for Limca in 1991 at age 16, and made her film debut in 1993 at age 17 in Baazigar, portraying a woman murdered by her psychopathic boyfriend. Although she was a supporting actress alongside Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, the film was a major success and earned her a nomination for the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award.
She attended St. Anthony Girls' High School, located in Chembur, and later attended Podar College. She was the captain of the baseball team and earned a black belt in Karate.
Shetty was a contestant in and the winner of Celebrity Big Brother UK. and is the first Indian celebrity included in the Celebrity version. Reportedly paid Rs.31.5m (367,500 pounds) for her participation, she said to presenter Davina McCall.
In April 2006, a Madurai court issued non-bailable warrants against Shetty and Reema Sen for "posing in an obscene manner" in photographs published by a Tamil newspaper.
On April 15, 2007, Shetty was aggressively kissed several times on the cheek by Richard Gere during an AIDS-awareness event. The pair had appeared at a press conference in New Delhi as part of a campaign to preach safe sex to truck drivers in India and promotion of AIDS awareness. The kiss prompted protesters, allegedly members of the right-wing Hindu nationalist group Shiv Sena, to beat burning effigies of Gere with sticks. Others set fire to glamor shots of Shetty. People demanded an apology from her and threatened to ban her movies in the state.
Similar protests broke out in other cities, including Varanasi, Hinduism's holiest city, and in the northern town of Meerut, where crowds of hundreds of thousands chanted "Down with Shilpa Shetty!" Star News Office was also attacked. The protests did not take any violent turn and the situation was quickly brought under control with some activists being detained.
Shetty responded to these protests by saying "I understand this kissing is his culture, not ours. But this was not such a big thing or so obscene for people to overreact in such a manner. I understand people's sentiments, but I don't want a foreigner to take bad memories from here."
On April 26, 2007 an Indian court in Rajasthan issued a warrant for Shetty and Gere's arrest. Shetty said she would attend court if her lawyers advised her to and that she felt the magistrates were seeking fame at her expense.
Awards Won by Shilpa Shetty
- 1998: Bollywood Movie Award - Best Supporting Actress for Pardesi Babu
- 2004: Special Award for Phir Milenge
- 2004: Giant International Award for Phir Milenge
- 2004: Indo-Pak's Young Achiever Award
- 2005: AAHOA Award for Phir Milenge
- 2007: Celebrity Big Brother
Shilpa Shetty Archive
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