Ankita Lokhande on why she did not attend Sushant's funeral
Late Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput's former girlfriend, actor Ankita Lokhande, has opened up about why she did not attend his funeral. She said if she saw Sushant there, she would never have been able to forget it. Former co-stars, Ankita and Sushant were in a relationship for six years until 2016. Sushant passed away by alleged suicide in June. Here's more on this.
Sushant, considered among the most promising young actors, was found dead at his Mumbai home on June 14. He was 34 years old. The actor had been suffering from clinical depression, medical reports and his doctors' statements suggested. His last rites were held in the city on June 15. Two separate investigations, by Mumbai Police and Bihar Police, are currently underway.
In an interview with Republic TV, Ankita revealed she was asleep when news of Sushant's death broke, and she was informed about it by a journalist. "I was sleeping and I just got up with some reporter's call... I picked up the call and this reporter said, 'Ankita, Sushant has committed suicide.' And I was finished. It was something that...you don't expect," she said.
Ankita (35), who starred alongside Sushant in popular television serial Pavitra Rishta, added, "The next day, there was his funeral and I could not make it because somewhere I knew that if I see Sushant somewhere like that... I will never be able to forget that phase." "So I decided that I cannot go to the funeral," the actor said.
However, Ankita reportedly met Sushant's father and his sisters, whom she was in touch with even after their break-up in 2016. "I had to meet his family. I wanted to make sure that they are okay. He was gone but his father and sisters were there, and that was my duty to go and meet them," she told the channel.
In another recent interview, Ankita had said that she did not believe Sushant was depressed and claimed that he could not kill himself. However, she admitted she had not been in touch with him for the past four years after they parted ways. "We have seen worse situations when we were together. He (Sushant) was a happy-go-lucky guy," Ankita noted.
Until Tuesday, the case was being solely handled by Mumbai Police. Following accusations that Sushant faced issues in his professional life, they had been questioning various Bollywood bigwigs. They have thus far recorded statements of Sushant's former co-star Sanjana Sanghi, filmmakers Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Aditya Chopra, and Mahesh Bhatt, as well as movie critic Rajeev Masand, among others.
However, the focus started shifting from Bollywood to Sushant's alleged girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty and plausible personal issues, after the late actor's family filed an FIR against her in Patna. In the complaint, she has been accused of fraud and abetting the alleged suicide. Meanwhile, a four-member team of Bihar Police has arrived in Mumbai for further probe in the matter.
Separately, in her writ petition in the top court, Rhea said she was traumatized after Sushant's demise, and accused his family of using "political influence" in order to allegedly drag her into the case. In a video, released on Friday, the 28-year-old actor has claimed she is innocent, adding she trusts the judiciary. "Satyameva Jayate, the truth shall prevail," she said in the video.
On a related note, the Enforcement Directorate has filed a money laundering case in connection with Sushant's death. It was lodged on the basis of an FIR filed by the Bihar Police. The case has come after Sushant's family alleged that Rs. 15 crore were suspiciously transferred from his accounts. Rhea and others are likely to be summoned by ED for interrogation next week.
Countless fans as well as some politicians have been demanding a probe by the CBI into the case. BJP leader and parliamentarian Subramanian Swamy has also written two letters to PM Narendra Modi in this regard. Notably, reports also suggest that Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, may consider recommending a CBI investigation if Sushant's family makes such a request to his government.
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.