Former Dubai fest CEO serves legal papers

Shivani Pandya accused of defamation

TORONTO -- Neil Stephenson, the former CEO of the Dubai International Film Festival, said Tuesday that he successfully served legal documents to DIFF managing director Shivani Pandya related to a defamation suit suit in the British High Court of Justice.

Stephenson said Pandya, who is attending the Toronto International Film Festival, was met with legal process agents when she checked into the Toronto Hilton Hotel for her festival stay.

The British legal suit was launched in December and alleges Stephenson was defamed by DIFF chairman Abdulhamid Juma and Pandya when his former senior colleagues called him a "racist" and "Arab hater" in the press.

Stephenson and his legal team earlier failed to serve Pandya with court papers at the Festival de Cannes.