The director of Slumdog Millionaire has hit out at the media, blaming them for disrupting the lives of the two child stars.
The pair, who were chosen to add authenticity to the film, were propelled into international fame thanks to their roles and were even flown in to attend the Oscars.
The children and their families have been subject to intense media interest. One journalist allegedly witnessed Azharuddin’s father beating his son after the boy refused to speak during a paid interview.
A custody battle for Rubina also made the headlines, causing a public battle between her mother and stepmother.
Speaking to the The Daily Telegraph, Danny Boyle defended the parents of the children saying they are “good people”.
“All the tension and pressure on the family is media-dominated and there has been a lot of inevitable miscommunication because we live in London and have only been able to read the news stories from afar.”
Danny Boyle, who won nine Oscars and made £213m from the film, recently flew out to Mumbai to help rehouse Azharuddin Ismail, 10 and Rubina Ali, nine, after their slum was demolished.
Boyle said: “Things are looking positive – they will be in their houses soon. I certainly hope this is the last time I have to speak to the media about Azhar and Rubina in this context.”