Indian megastar Akshay Kumar acknowledged there is a substance “problem” inside Bollywood, as a drugs investigation intensifies into the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. Movie-obsessed India has been trapped in the saga of the death of Rajput, who was found dead in his apartment in Mumbai in June, with police alleging he took his own life.
With his longtime partner, actress Rhea Chakraborty, arrested earlier this month for reportedly buying weed for him, the investigation into the 34-year-old’s death has grown into a major narcotics inquiry. The Indian media has also accepted calls for a deeper probe into the so-called “cash mafia” in the multimillion-dollar entertainment industry. In a nearly four-minute video posted Saturday on his Twitter account, Kumar called on the fervent fans of the industry not to tar anyone in Bollywood with the fans of the industry.
Kumar, 53, said in Hindi in a video viewed more than 2.5 million times, “With a hand on my heart, how can I lie and say that this (narcotics and drugs) problem does not exist in our industry.” “The same way that problems occur in any other profession exists in our field. But it would be unfair to assume that everybody in that field is interested with all the problems.”
Several high-profile actresses were hauled in for questioning, including 34-year-old powerhouse Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor and Rakul Preet Singh. Last month, after TV channel Times Now aired portions of the WhatsApp conversation about procuring hash, broader national attention in the Bollywood case peaked, claiming that Padukone and her boss were the two people talking.
In the meantime, Rajput’s family has denied claims that the actor suffered from depression and has also accused Chakraborty of stealing and harassing his money. Chakraborty, 28, who was abused by the media along with her relatives for months, has denied any wrongdoing.