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Actress: I don’t even know Shafie personally

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KUALA LUMPUR: Actress Zahida Mohamed Rafik has sent a legal notice to PKR Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin over allegations that she accepted Rm1.5mil from a federal minister.

In her first public appearance since the issue surfaced about two weeks ago, the 37-year-old said she did not personally know Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and that linking her to him was just a malicious lie.

“I met him at a few functions but I don’t know him personally. I only know that he is a minister.

“Allegations that I have married him are not true,” she told Malay tabloid Kosmo! at the launch of the Nur of Alexandria accessories here on Wednesday.

“I take these all as plain gossip, which is part and parcel of being an artiste,” she said, adding that she was still single.

She said she would not be surprised if the stories were politically motivated.

On why it had taken her so long to clear the air, Zahida said she had to consult her lawyers first.

“Before this, I avoided reacting to the issue as I was worried about saying the wrong thing. But today, I feel bold enough to speak to the media as I have been given legal advice,” she said.

The minister also broke his silence on Monday, denying any truth to a police report made by an ex-driver of the actress that he (Mohd Shafie) paid her hundreds of thousands of ringgit over the course of their alleged relationship.

Mohd Shafie is married to Datin Seri Shuryani Shuaib, with whom he has six children.

Ex-driver Noor Azman Azemi had claimed that Mohd Shafie and Zahida had an intimate relationship for several years and he (Noor Azman) was paid by the minister to be the chauffeur of the actress-cum-model.

He claimed that the two would meet at hotels and the minister would pass him between RM100,000 and RM200,000 to be banked into the woman’s account.

Noor Azman, who resigned as her driver on Feb 29, lodged the report to clear his name after Zahida accused him of absconding with RM200,000.

In an interview with online portal Laman Kl-today, Zuraida confirmed that she had received the legal letter dated April 23.