Mamta Kulkarni (born 20 April 1972) is a former Bollywood Leading actress. During the 90s, she was part of several commercial successes such as Aashiq Awara (1993), Waqt Hamara Hai (1993), Krantiveer (1994), Karan Arjun (1995), Sabse Bada Khiladi (1995)Baazi (1996) China Gate (1998)Beqabu (1995), Chupa Rustam (2001)among others. Her performance in 'Aashiq Awara' (1993) won her the Filmfare Best New Face Award. The film, which launched Saif Ali Khan, was a superhit. In the blockbuster 'Karan Arjun' (1995), directed by Rakesh Roshan, Mamta Kulkarni starred alongside Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan. She had a 'knack' of landing into controversies, which started with her posing topless for a famous Indian magazine Stardust cover in 1993.
Kulkarni made her debut through the Tamil film Nanbargal which was directed by Shoba Chandrasekar. She made her Bollywood debut with the 1992 movie Tirangaa. In 1993 she starred in Aashiq Awara, which won her a Filmfare Lux New Face Award. She went to appear in many other popular films such as Waqt Hamara Hai (1993), Krantiveer (1994), Karan Arjun (1995), Sabse Bada Khiladi (1995), Ghatak: Lethal (1996), Beqabu, Baazi, Gangstar, Chupa Rustam, Qila, Andolan, which did well at the box office.
Mamta Kulkarni, who walked the fine line between sleazy and hot in the 90s, had disappeared from the city more than a decade ago. It is said that the actress, who shot to notoriety with a topless cover shot for a film magazine, embraced a life of anonymity after her fortunes dipped and she found love with international drug kingpin Vicky Goswami. During the 1990s, Mamta Kulkarni was a very famous actress along with Karishma Kapoor, Raveena Tondon, Juhi Chawla, Madhuri Dixit, Kajol, Manisha Koirala. Post-'China Gate', Mamta became more selective; she started working with directors like Mahesh Bhatt and J. P. Dutta. However, after Rajkumar Santoshi's China Gate failed at the box office and the actress accused the filmmaker of having made indecent advances, her Bollywood career took a downturn. Acting offers dried up and she shifted in with her boyfriend Vicky in Dubai.
Things seemed to change when Rajkumar Santoshi, in whose earlier movie Ghatak: Lethal (1996), she had a cameo appearance, cast her as the female lead in his 1998 movie China Gate, an ambitious remake of Seven Samurai. 'China Gate' (1997) director, Rajkumar Santoshi, replaced Mamta with Urmila Matondkar in the item number, 'Chamma chamma', though Mamta was the female lead. Kulkarni later accused Santoshi of cutting her screen time because she had refused his advances.
However, things did not go as planned. Relations between Santoshi and the actress soured, and rumours began circulating that Kulkarni was dropped from the movie, and reinstated only after gangster Chhota Rajan intervened on her behalf. When the movie was finally released, it was also a huge flop. Furthermore, the only song in the movie, the item number Chamma Chamma, was picturised on Urmila Matondkar, even though Kulkarni had built her reputation with such numbers. To add insult to injury, the song turned out to be a chartbuster, and was even used in Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge!, and greatly increased Urmila's popularity.
Angered at the turn of events, Kulkarni lashed out at Santoshi, accusing him of cutting her screen time because she had refused his advances. Santoshi denied all rumours related to the movie, and the matter was given a quiet burial. However, this proved to be the death blow to Kulkarni's career. She only appeared in a handful of movies after that, and new offers dried up. She quit movies after her last appearance in the 2002 film Kabhie Tum Kabhie Hum. Mamta also did few movies in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Malayalam.
During her career she was offered many other films with Mithun Chakraborty, Ajay Devgan, Bobby Deol, Shahrukh Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Akshay Khanna, Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor. She turned down many big films such as Sapoot, Agnaary, Mr and Mrs Khiladi, Bandahan, Aunty No.1, Dulhe Raja, Davaa, Shikari,Hogi Pyar Ki Jeet and Kareeb because her role was not substantial.
Kulkarni married an NRI from USA. But, now Mamta has shifted in with her boyfriend Vicky Goswami in Dubai, UAE. She got married on 10 May 2013 with international drug kingpin Vicky Goswami. In 1997 Vicky was arrested for trafficking 11.5 tonnes of mandrax valued at $ 6 million and incarcerated in Dubai. She also has embraced Islam along with her husband Vicky.Now she is in Kenya with her husband.TOI has learnt that Vicky, now 52 years old, was released from the Dubai prison on November 15, 2012, after his life sentence was reduced on account of his model conduct. While in prison he had converted to Islam, and married Mamta, who had been managing his real estate business that includes a prominent hotel in Dubai, in his absence. Sources close to the couple say, Vicky is now in Nairobi, with his faithful wife by his side.
Vicky's hush-hush release from prison has been reported in several news channels in South Africa, from where he managed his network. "A life sentence in Dubai is in effect 25 years, but prisoners can apply for early release on various grounds. Apart from good conduct, these include learning to recite passages from the Qu'ran or converting to Islam. To strengthen his clemency appeal, Goswami converted to Islam and was married according to Islamic rites while incarcerated," says the article that appeared in the Mail & Guardian, which has been following the sensational case.
Though the opposition lawyers strongly opposed his clemency saying that he was an international criminal, the court pardoned him on grounds that he was a reformed criminal and a devout Muslim. The court also ordered that he be deported to his native country in India. Sources claim Vicky arrived in India during December 2012 and left for Kenya soon after. Since he did not have any specific criminal cases pending against him in India, it was easier for him to fly to Kenya.
Rashid Saeed, one of the most well-known event organisers in Dubai, said: "It was extremely difficult to get in touch with Mamta. She was very reticent and turned down all offers to perform at our shows. Late last year, we were told by common friends that she was married and she would never perform on stage again."