Mallika Sherawat Bollywood actress attacked in Paris

The 40-year-old star and her partner were attacked by three masked men who tried to steal her handbag.

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Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat arrives for the opening ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival in May 2016 play

Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat arrives for the opening ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival in May 2016

(AFP/File)
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Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat was punched in the face and sprayed with tear gas by masked attackers in an upmarket area of Paris, police said Thursday.

The 40-year-old star and her partner were attacked by three masked men who tried to steal her handbag.

The couple told police the men had ambushed them in the lobby of the apartment building where they were staying in the chic 16th arrondissement of the French capital on November 11.

The incident comes just weeks after US reality TV star Kim Kardashian was attacked in Paris in a robbery in which a masked gang stole jewellery worth more than $10 million (9.3 million euros).

However, investigators said they were mystified that although the attackers had tried to take Sherawat's handbag, they had fled empty-handed.

"We cannot understand why the attackers fled without taking anything," a source in the investigation told AFP.

Sherawat, whose real name is Reema Lambha, came to prominence from 2004 thanks to a raunchy film that helped bust taboos around sex in the conservative Indian film industry.

She is well-known for her role in the film "Murder" and also starred in Jackie Chan's "The Myth" in 2005.

She is also a women's rights activist and caused controversy with comments about how Indian society is "regressive and depressive" because of how it treats women.

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