Sunanda Pushkar, whose links with Shashi Tharoor and IPL Kochi triggered a big controversy, admitted she has helped the franchise to raise a lot of money but denied acting as his proxy in getting sweat equity worth Rs.70 crore.
She termed as insulting accusation that she was acting as a proxy for Tharoor.
"Can't I make my own money ? He has not been corrupt for so many years-for which I am proud to be his friend-why would he be corrupt now? Sunanda, 48, said she had met Tharoor two years back through a friend Sunny Varkey, and "we got along immediately".
"We are certainly close now, but that closeness only developed less than five months ago. I am very proud to know him because, most of all, he is good and honest man," she said in an interview to Tehelka magazine.
Tharoor was forced to resign as Minister of State for External Affairs amid allegations that he had misused his official position to get Sunanda the equity in IPL Kochi, a charge denied by him.
Sunanda said her decision to give up the equity was not for Tharoor as was being made out. She said she gave it up as she has no enthusiasm to work on it anymore.
Sunanda said she was bewildered by the allegations of corruption.
"I did agree to offer my skills as a marketing consultant. I have a knack for it. I also helped them (IPL Kochi) raise a lot of money. But there's been absolutely no exchange of money between us...it's more like a promisory note with absolutely no guarantee that the shares will amount to anything."
Pushkar, who is based in Dubai, blasted the media for turning her into a "slut" and a "brainless eye candy".
She likened the media spotlight to a medieval witch hunt.