Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova has been charged with cheating and conspiracy by Gurugram police. As per the complaint, Sharapova had endorsed a proposed luxury housing project in Gurugram that was later abandoned by the builders, duping hundreds of investors and buyers.
In 2012, Sharapova had launched Ballet by Sharapova, the name of the apartment complex, where she was supposed to open a tennis academy along with a clubhouse and a helipad. The apartments were to be completed and handed over to buyers by 2016. However, the work is nowhere near completion and the builder too has been booked for fraud by many individuals who had invested in the project.
It is understood that Sharapova did not reassure herself about the background of the developer or knew about their intent, but this ignorance cannot be cited as an excuse in the court of law considering people invested at her face value.
Interestingly, Mahendra Singh Dhoni resigned as brand ambassador of real estate company Amrapali when it became clear that it was in trouble, and would not be able to meet its commitments to homebuyers. Virat Kohli and Pullela Gopichand have announced that they will not endorse carbonated soft drinks as they are bad for health.