SSR's death case: Bhansali reaches police station to record statement
Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali on Monday arrived at Bandra police station in Mumbai to record his statement in connection with actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death investigation. He was spotted by media at the police station earlier around noon. The 57-year-old director is the biggest name yet to be summoned in this case, whose probe began after Sushant passed away last month.
Bhansali will reportedly be questioned about allegations that the late actor was suffering from depression as he had been forced to drop out of a number of films. In fact, reports suggested that Sushant was initially offered two of Bhansali's films, viz. Ramleela and Bajirao Mastani. However, the collaboration could not materialize owing to Sushant's contract with Yash Raj Films (YRF) back then.
Many, including Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam, had alleged that Sushant faced a boycott from major production banners and he lost some of his films to other stars. In fact, a complaint was also filed against Bhansali and some other Bollywood bigwigs like Karan Johar, Ekta Kapoor, Bhushan Kumar, Salman Khan, and Sajid Nadiadwala, in this regard.
Meanwhile, as part of the ongoing investigation, the Mumbai Police has questioned at least 29 people, including Sushant's family, housekeeper, cook, business manager, friends Mahesh Shetty, Mukesh Chhabra, Rhea Chakraborty, and Siddharth Pitani, publicist Rohini Iyer, and YRF casting director Shanoo Sharma. Last week, Sanjana Sanghi, Sushant's co-star in his final film Dil Bechara, also recorded her statement.
The police also sought copies of Sushant' contract with YRF. Further, they also recently questioned two former senior employees of the production company, namely Ashish Singh and Ashish Patil. To recall, Sushant worked in two YRF films, viz. Shuddh Desi Romance (2013) and Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! (2015). Earlier, cops had recovered medical prescriptions and medications meant for clinical depression, from the late actor's home.
According to reports, film director Shekhar Kapur is also expected to be summoned for interrogation by the police. Notably, Kapur and Sushant were to work together on YRF film Paani. But the project was eventually shelved. Furthermore, Kapur has been actively speaking up on Sushant after his demise. He even hinted that Sushant was suffering from some issues in his professional life.
Sushant, aged 34, was found dead at his apartment in Mumbai on June 14. The police said he died by suicide. He had been battling depression for the past few months. The late actor's last rites were held in the city on June 15. Subsequently, stars from all walks of life paid tribute to him, as the tragic piece of news surfaced.
Star of hit films like M.S. Dhoni and Chhichhore, Sushant had a promising career ahead of him. In fact, his final film Dil Bechara is one of the most awaited movies this year. It will be out on Disney + Hotstar on July 24.
In case you need help or know someone who does, you can reach out to AASRA for suicide prevention counseling. Their number is 022 2754 6669 (24 hours). You can also contact the Hyderabad-based Roshni NGO at +914066202000 or COOJ at +918322252525. Sneha India Foundation, which works 24X7, can be contacted at +914424640050. Vandrevala Foundation has trained counselors, and their number is 18602662345.