Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan and his celebrity daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai are in the eye of the storm following a global expose by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung and over 100 other media outlets around the world.
Millions of leaked secret files of a Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca, have named more than 500 Indians, who hold financial interests in offshore companies, foundations and trusts. Amitabh and Aishwarya are also on the list.
While both movie stars are yet to issue statements on the matter, the PR team for Aishwarya was quick to rubbish the details of documents reported in the media, calling it "totally untrue and false".
In the meantime, Amitabh is keeping his lips tightly sealed on the documents.
For the first time in years, Amitabh did not update his social media for nearly 24 hours. He is one of the most active Indian celebrities on social media space. He keeps his Twitter and Facebook accounts buzzing with posts about his work, sharing posts by others on his timeline, sharing pictures and so on.
In the light of 'Panama Papers' expose, however, Amitabh had become inactive for almost a day on social media.
The Indian Express, which was part of the reporting team of ICIJ, reported that Aishwarya and members of her family for some time were the stakeholders in a company registered in British Virgin Islands.
“Documents which show that Rai, her father Kotedadi Ramana Rai Krishna Rai, mother Vrinda Krishna Raj Rai and brother Aditya Rai were appointed on May 14, 2005, as directors of Amic Partners Limited,” said the report. However, her designation was revised from 'director' to 'shareholder' in 2005 and the same year, she even shortened her name as A Rai to maintain the confidentiality.
In 1993, Amitabh was named director of at least four offshore shipping companies, of which one was registered in British Virgin Islands and three in the Bahamas. This was before he launched Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited (ABCL) in 1995, according to the leaked documents.