German supermodel-turned-actress Claudia Ciesla, who is considering a Bollywood career, has rubbished rumours that she is dating Indian superstar Salman Khan and insists that Katrina Kaif is his girlfriend.
'Salman and I are just good friends. He is not my boyfriend, as has been reported here. Everyone knows that it's Katrina Kaif who is his girlfriend and not me. I haven't even been that long in India to start controversies,' Claudia, 22, told IANS in an interview.
She was in the capital to promote her film 'Karma: Crime, Passion, Reincarnation'.
'Everything (rumours) started when I was in Europe. I couldn't even keep track of it because I was busy over there. But now I hope everything is clear... even Salman had clarified everything in interviews and I am doing the same,' she added.
A leading daily here had reported that the model was the actor's new muse and reason behind the Salman-Katrina split.
The occasional singer, who has already cut two albums, also conceded that she understands 'it all happens when you are in showbiz'. She says rumour mills started working overtime after Salman invited her to his place.
'The only thing was that he invited me to meet his family. Even Katrina was there and they made me feel most welcome,' said Claudia, who was on her fifth trip to India since January 2008.
But the negative reports haven't stopped her from praising Salman.
'Salman is a wonderful person. He is very gentle and polite. He and his father gave me a lot of advice for my Bollywood career. Even Katrina and I spent a lot of time together and she gave me a lot of advice. She told me about her career and how she learnt Hindi. It was amazing. I respect her a lot for that,' she said.
On being asked if Salman promised her to find work in Bollywood, she said: 'Salman didn't promise me nothing. Why should he?'
Her film 'Karma: Crime, Passion, Reincarnation', directed by M.R. Shahjahan, won prestigious awards at the Spain and Greece film festivals and was also premiered at Cannes.
The film is a dramatic thriller about an Austrian girl (Claudia) who is raped and murdered during her visit to India in the 1970s and how she reincarnates and comes back to the same place after 30 years.
'I am seriously thinking about coming into Bollywood. After the rainy season, I'm planning to stay here for a long time...I'll rent an apartment in Mumbai and even start taking Hindi lessons,' she said.
She has already worked in Italian and German sitcoms, German-Indian collaboration 'Ki Jana Pardes' (Punjabi), and Bengali movie '10:10'.
Claudia says she has three Bollywood offers in hand and that she is coming out with two music albums respectively in German and English.
(Robin Bansal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)