Mumbai: The panditji is blackmailing Vipul Shah to keep mum about John-Genelia 'wedding'.  There was much hullabaloo about how John Abraham and Genelia D'Souza's marriage scene in Force apparently turned out to be a 'real' wedding.

However, what is transpiring now is something neither the actors nor their director-producer Vipul Shah might have expected even in their wildest dreams.

According to sources, the pandit has been blackmailing Shah. Also, the director is now looking for an amicable settlement by paying him off. If he still creates issues, Shah says that he will resort to legal means.

Says a source close to the director-producer, "The pandit wanted monetary compensation to not raise an alarm over the supposed sampurn shaadi (complete marriage) when it had been shot.At that time Vipul had brushed off the pandit's  demands. Now when he read about Genelia's purported wedding with Riteish Deshmukh he is looking at a hefty pay-off to not bring up the legal validity and moral sanctity of the filmed wedding."

What happened...

According to Vipul, while he suggested a filmy wedding with an actor playing the priest, it was director Nishikant Kamat who wanted the rituals to look bona fide.

Says the harried director, "This is the price we pay for my director's penchant for realism. It was he who suggested that we get a real priest. How were we to know that the priest would suddenly claim he had performed a real wedding?"

Vipul also fears that this would be a good playground for Hindu organisations, who might also jump into the fray. Says Vipul, "But I'd like to remind the potential trouble-makers that Genelia is not a Hindu, and therefore the Hindu wedding rituals are not applicable to her."

A publicity stunt

While the industry is claiming that this whole tamasha is actually a promotional technique, the producer claims that it is true but only for the pandit. "He is in the news. More people would now approach him to perform marriages. I'm happy he is famous at the cost of my film. But I am not taking this lying down."

 "Are people really saying I'm doing this for publicity? If I wanted to carry this absurd matter forward I'd have got some Hindu organisation to jump in myself. There were at least a dozen news channels wanting to do special programme on the so-called marriage. I declined."