Shilpa Shetty accepts apologies from Big Brother house mates

Indian actress Shilpa Shetty has accepted apologies from her tormentors on the "Celebrity Big Brother" television show, but controversy rumbled on over what thousands of Britons see as racist abuse.

Channel 4 television, which has been under pressure from politicians and the public to deal with the issue, said producers had spoken to Shetty's antagonists, Jade Goody and Danielle Lloyd.

Any member of the public who thought it was worth 50 pence (Ђ0.76; US$0.99) could vote by phone or text Friday whether Goody or Shetty would be evicted from the house.

Fearing trouble if Goody got the boot, the producers banned the public from gathering Friday night near the studio in Elstree, 12 miles (20 kilometers) north of London.

"Over the past few days Celebrity Big Brother has generated an intense and, at times, heated public debate which the evicted housemate will be unaware of," said a statement from Channel 4.

"As a result, Channel 4 and (production campaign) Endemol have taken the decision to conduct tonight's eviction in front of a studio audience and without a crowd."

Goody, who became a celebrity after enduring much abuse herself in an earlier edition of Big Brother, approached Shetty on Thursday night, saying: "I know that what has happened has not been nice for you... and a lot of stuff got said the other day from you and from myself."

"I didn't say it in a racial way... I do not judge people by the color of their skin," said Goody.

"I know that, I don't think you're racist," Shetty said, and the two hugged.

Lloyd, a former beauty queen, also apologized, saying she was disgusted with her own behavior, reports AP.

"I didn't agree with some of the things you said to Jade, but I especially didn't agree with some of the things that Jade said to you," Lloyd said.

"I'm sorry. 'Cause I'm young and quite naive, I've probably took the route where I'll stick with Jade.

"I feel really disgusted at myself ... I'm following the leader, following the group when you are a really nice girl," Lloyd said.

Shetty responded: "Give me a hug."

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