A Bollywood actress will become the first Indian woman to grace the cover of Playboy, even though the print edition of the magazine is banned in her native country.
28 year old Sherlyn Chopra will be appearing in the upcoming November issue of the magazine and while her fans in India won't find the print edition at newsstands, Chopra will also be appearing in the online edition.
Born to a Christian father and Muslim mother in the southern city of Hyderabad, the news of her appearing on the cover of the American edition of the men's magazine has caused quite a stir in the subcontinent. Some commentators openly questioned if her appearance there would contribute towards continuing voyeurism and the exploitation of Indian women while Chopra defended her decision in an interview with the Hindi edition of the BBC last week.
"I have become the first Indian to pose naked for Playboy and nobody can take away that achievement from me," Ms Chopra said.While Playboy and certain American publications have identified Chopra as a 'bombshell' and 'screen siren', the fetching Bollywood beauty has actually appeared in a relatively small number of films and didn't receive top billing in any of them.
"My sister is proud of my achievement. I haven't told anything to my mother, but I think I will visit her and tell her that she has to accept me the way I am."
The 28-year-old actress, who has played some small roles in Bollywood films, said she had visited Mr Hefner and his friends at the Playboy mansion in Los Angeles.
"I had fun meeting him and his girlfriends. I am thinking of making him my idol because he lives his life on his terms and conditions. I also live my life on my terms and conditions," Ms Chopra said.
Even with a ban on the print edition of Playboy in effect, India is no stranger to controversies involving cover girls. In late 2011, actress Veena Malik angered most of her native Pakistan by posing topless for the Indian edition of FHM with a grenade the initials of Pakistan's ISI intelligence agency scrawled on her arm. Malik [pictured above] was born in the Pakistani province of Punjab and was married to a Pakistani cricket star, but much of her work over the last decade was out of Mumbai, India.
Chopra would not be the first woman from an Islamic background to appear on the cover of Playboy, however. In April 2011, German actress Sila Sahin- the daughter of Turkish immigrants to Germany- appeared on the cover of the German edition of Playboy.
Sahin [above] had reportedly received a number of anonymous death threats within weeks of the magazine hitting the newsstand.