Bollywood star Deepika Padukone questioned in drugs probe


MUMBAI, Sept 26, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – Indian police hauled in Bollywood
megastar Deepika Padukone for questioning on Saturday in an escalating drugs
probe following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

Rajput was found dead in his apartment in June, sparking a media frenzy
with rolling news channels speculating that his former girlfriend, actress
Rhea Chakraborty, drove him to kill himself with narcotics and even black

Rajput’s family disputed reports that he suffered from depression and
openly accused Chakraborty, 28, of stealing his money and harassing him.

The actress, who denies any wrongdoing and who has been hounded for months
by the media together with her family, was arrested earlier this month for
allegedly buying cannabis for Rajput and this week was denied bail.

The saga has now morphed into a probe by authorities into drug-taking
within the multi-billion-dollar industry.

Padukone, 34, one of Bollywood’s biggest stars, was summoned earlier this
week for questioning by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in Mumbai as well
as actresses Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor and Rakul Preet Singh.

Singh’s statement was recorded on Friday. Kapoor and Khan were are also
expected to appear before the NCB on Saturday.

Earlier this week, TV channel TimesNow broadcast sections of a WhatsApp
conversation about procuring hash, alleging that the two people chatting were
Padukone and her manager.

Director Karan Johar meanwhile, who has also been a target of TV channels
and social media users since Rajput’s death, released a statement on Friday
rejecting claims that drugs were consumed at a party that he hosted at his
home last year.