Bollywood actress Rhea Chakraborty’s lawyer warned on Sunday that TV channels and individuals who spread rumours and “defamed” the 28-year-old partner of Sushant Singh Rajput would have to face the truth. “We will start going after people who defamed and tried to destroy her life and morale for two minutes of glory on electronic media carrying fake news,” lawyer Satish Maneshinde said.
He singled out a so-called Sushant fan, and Rhea’s neighbour, whose alleged remarks on television are outrageously unbelievable. Maneshinde said, “One such person is Dimple Thawani, who claims she is a SSR fan, and believes she is his soulmate due to a past life connection. She claims that someone told her that SSR dropped Rhea home on June 13.”
However, the lawyer said, when CBI asked Thawani about the details, she said that she never saw Rhea and Sushant together but she heard someone saying this.
On further asking if she will be able to identify the person who told her this, she refused and said that she has no idea who that person was.
Sushant was found hanging in his Mumbai home on June 14—a celebrity death that riveted the nation and kept prime-time television busy with an overload of theories and counter-conspiracies that included allegations that the actor did drugs and Rhea helped him get the stuff.
The lawyer said Thawani’s fore life vision is “a baseless rumour”. “It’s by someone who’s part of the media circus and wants to share the limelight with others who claim to know SSR. Her statement was recorded by CBI today. I would request all honest journalists to go to her now and record what she has to say,” Maneshinde said.
CBI officials apparently went to Rhea’s apartment block on Sunday to collect mobile numbers of her family and they questioned Thawani as well.
Rhea’s legal team will forward a list of people to the CBI “who made fake and false claims on TV and electronic media,” which includes mobile phone recordings and “fake stories” on the SSR case with reference to Rhea. Her lawyer said: “We will ask the CBI to go after them and record their statements. We will request the CBI to initiate legal proceedings against them for misleading the investigations.”
Following the drug case—apparently, 59 gm of curated marijuana was found on her—and an intense media trail, Rhea was arrested and she spent a month in jail. The Mumbai High Court granted her bail on October 7, observing that Section 27A of the NDPS Act was not applicable in the case. “She is not part of drug dealers. She has not forwarded the drugs allegedly procured by her to somebody else to earn monetary or other benefits. Since she has no criminal antecedents, there are reasonable grounds for believing that she is not likely to commit any offence while on bail. There are reasonable grounds for believing that she is not guilty of any offence punishable under Sections 19, 24, or 27A (of NDPS Act) or any other offence involving commercial quantity,” the court ruled.
But Rhea is not free yet. The court has asked her to submit her passport to the investigating agency—the Narcotics Control Bureau. She has also been asked to report to the nearest police station between 11 am to 5 pm for ten days (till October 17).