Director Danny Boyle has pleaded with the press to leave the young stars of SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE alone - because the constant attention is ruining their lives.
The Oscar winning movie's child actors, Azharuddin Ismail, 10 and nine-year-old Rubina Ali, were catapulted into the limelight following the global success of the film, which has grossed $353 million (£235 million) at the worldwide box office.
But both kids have been hit by scandal and tragedy since they became famous.
Ali's father was quizzed by Indian police over allegations he attempted to sell his young daughter for $300,000 (£200,000), although he has since been cleared of the claims.
And Ismail's dad was forced to apologise to the world's press after he was seen beating his son just days after the film's Oscar glory in February (09).
Boyle is convinced their sudden fame is responsible for the incidents - and he has begged the media to leave the pair in peace.
He tells Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, "The parents are good people who love their children. All the pressure and tension on the family is media-dominated and there has been a lot of miscommunication because we live in London and have only been able to read the news stories from afar."
Both families were also forced out of their homes in Mumbai, India last month (May09) when local authorities bulldozed swathes of the city's slums - before Boyle stepped in to buy new apartments for the young stars and their relatives.
And the director is dedicated to building a happy future for Ismail and Ali - away from the prying eyes of the press.
He adds, "They are really wonderful kids who have been brought up in very difficult circumstances. It has obviously been a very difficult period, but the best possible benefit that this film could ever give them is an education and we are very, very proud that they are making progress and have passed all their exams.
"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."