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Published: 7/06/2009 at 12:00 AM
Newspaper section: News

Seeking redress

Where actresses fear to tread, politicians leap right in. Pai "One Point" Lik, a motor racer and son of former veteran politician Ruangwit, is suing two television hosts for defamation after they claimed that he and close friend, actress Yardthip "Yard" Rajpal had shacked up together and liked to take drugs.

Lodging his suit with the Criminal Court, Pai's lawyer Sakorn Sirichai said the claims had damaged his client's reputation and upset his family. The court accepted the case and set the first hearing for Aug 31.

He said a civil case seeking 50 million baht in damages was likely to follow, and that Yardthip would be called to give evidence.

Mr Sirichai was referring to remarks made by television presenters Chettawut "Buay" Watcharakun and Pornthip "Ae" Wongkijanon on Channel 7's Kum Pak show.

He said while other media reports kept the details vague, the defendants mentioned the principal characters by name.

"Claims that Yardthip ran away from home or took drugs with my client are untrue," he said.

Pai is the son of ex-politician Ruangwit, a former Thai Rak Thai executive and nine-term MP in Kamphaeng Phet. In 2007, Pai stood unsuccessfully for the same seat.

Yard says whether she joins Pai in suing the pair will depend on her parents. During her six or seven years in the industry she had tried to keep her nose clean and put across a good image. She felt the publicity had undone all her good work.

Not quite the Full Monty

Actress Panward "Peuy" Hemmanee is negotiating how much of her body she has to show in a film billed as "Thailand's first erotic movie".

With just a couple of weeks to go before shooting begins, Peuy says she is delighted with the character she plays, but worried about a love scene she has to act with - gasp! - another woman.

Directed by Bongkoj "Tak" Khongmalai, the film is overseen by producer Pracha Pinkaew for Sahamongkol Films.

"Tak told me I could choose the woman I have to make love to in the movie, but I have yet to decide," she said at a function launching the Sexy Leo Girls Season 4 contest.

Peuy says she is trying to live down her sexy image of the past. "One scene calls for me to get up from the bed naked. I will probably get a stand-in to do that, as I have limits: I won't take it all off," she said.

She has also checked the script to make sure that if she has to give kisses or hugs, they are meaningful, not inserted just for a thrill.

"It is not a sexy movie. You might see a small mound of breast, that's it."

Peuy says the movie, renamed from the original Tabeng Mahn to Innocent Love, celebrates the beauty of the female form.

"It is not a lesbian flick, and nor do we take off our clothes randomly. We strip for a reason," she said.

A cry for help

Toranong Srichua, director of the disaster epic/drama 2022 Tsunami, is upset that Thais are not supporting his movie, so attempted to take his own life.

He was admitted to hospital this week suffering from stress after his assistant found him with a gun.

Worried the film would fail at the box office, Toranong shut himself in his bedroom and pointed a gun to his head. Moments earlier, the director sent his assistant a text message, in which he exhorted him to lead a good life.

His worried assistant, who was downstairs, took the message to mean that the director was about to make a dramatic exit.

"I raced upstairs but found the door locked. I called on friends, and we managed to open it. When I finally managed to get in, I found him standing there with a gun," he said.

With the help of friends, he relieved Toranong of his weapon and took him to hospital. From his hospital bed, Toranong said he was worried about poor critical and audience reaction to the 160 million baht movie, which took years to make.

He made the tsunami film as a warning to his countrymen about the potentially disastrous implications of climate change, but feels they let him down.

"I stood outside cinemas for four days, watching people go in. They go to see farang movies, slasher movies, comedies, ghost flicks. While they take tens of millions of baht, I manage just two million baht.

"It's not just a publicity stunt to promote the film I was genuinely stressed," said the director, who says he has sought hospital care seven or eight times in the past.

He took a spell in hospital when the World Trade Centre was bombed, and on another occasion when he cut off his own finger.

2022 Tsunami - about a big wave that hits Bangkok, after scientists' warnings go unheeded - had a poor build-up, after a group of red shirts set fire to a cinema where it was screening in Phetchaburi.

Posters for the movie included pictures of victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which upset relatives. Toranong apologised for the poor-taste posters, and had new ones made.

Toranong, who takes his role as social campaigner seriously, had pledged to put proceeds from the tsunami movie into building the world's tallest Buddha statue on the capital's outskirts, supposedly to hold back the waves. No one seemed interested, he laments. He is now looking to overseas markets to recoup his investment.

Blue caller caught

Model Alika "Blue" Ployamporn has found the alleged nuisance caller who invited her to do a bodypaint spread. The man admits calling her once, but denies pestering her by talking dirty or asking for sex, as claimed.

Prinya Thorpan, 27, who works for a construction company, contacted Suthisan police to clear his name, after Blue laid a complaint about a nuisance caller last week.

She said a man calling himself Neung, who supplied his phone number, called her at home and on her mobile phone, posing as a magazine photographer. Blue's friends called Prinya on the number, which prompted him to contact police.

Prinya, who says he works as a freelance photographer on the side, claims he called the former Dutchie Girl winner just the once, at home. He denies talking dirty or asking for sex, but admits he asked her if she'd like to pose for a bodypaint spread.

Blue, who met him at the police station, says she recognises his voice, and reckons he made more than just the one call.

"Before the media arrived, he made a full confession. However, when reporters showed up, he changed his story, claiming he had called me just the once," she said.

Prinya says he obtained Blue's condo number from the 1133 directory service. Police have yet to lay charges.

"I would be happy if he admitted causing a nuisance and apologised. However, if he carries on like this, I shall have to let police take the matter further."

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