NDTV: What does the 28-year-old woman at the centre of the most sensualized media trial have to say? What Is her side of the story? Joining me tonight is Rhea Chakraborty. Rhea, you heard my introduction, you are accused number one in India’s most sensational case at the moment. It’s like we have nothing else to worry about. What exactly is your reaction? Rhea that was Sushant Singh Rajput’s father saying today that you poisoned his son, you murdered his son. How would you respond to that? Your reaction to that?
Rhea Chakraborty: I mean it is extremely hurtful that someone who is going through a loss this big as I am does not understand what this could be doing to me. I loved his son, and it’s just beyond me to
understand that is there no humanity? I looked after his son. At least have the humanity if you don’t like me as his girlfriend, at least have the humanity that now that he’s passed, respect his love for me. If not mine for him.
NDTV: You know Rhea, in a sense you can put down Sushant’s family and their characters to their grief, but what’s actually now become the huge issue is the fact that today a senior BJP leader said that the anti-terror agency, the NIA, should investigate your role in this case. As I’ve said we have already got the CBI, the ED, the Narcotics Bureau investigating your role in this case. It’s almost, I mean there were similar cases when there were fugitives, as Swara Baskar said today, Kasab wouldn’t have been treated like this. What would you say today, you’re 28, and you’re being investigated by three central agencies, what’s your reaction to that?
Rhea Chakraborty: It’s really difficult, me and my entire family are going through scrutiny every day. Today there was a mob at my doorstep. My father was harassed, he was touched, he was hit. My watchman was beaten up in my building, inside the premises. They are not just harassing me but the people living in the society. Tomorrow, they might ask us to leave. What are you doing to this family? I would like to ask everybody this question, what are you doing to this family? We are being grilled, we are part of every investigation, we are doing all our duties. We are just law-abiding citizens. But why can’t you wait for the result to come? And if you don’t have faith in the legal system you should leave India. Because I do. And my family does. And that’s why we’re still alive or we would have committed suicide too. With the kind of allegations and accusations, treating me worse than a terrorist. My father served the nation for 25 years as an army officer. And you are treating this family like we are terrorists. When all we did was love a boy.
NDTV: Rhea, already you have seen the reactions to your interviews that have come, that you are this, that your interviews are PR interviews, they’re soft interviews. The fact is this interview is going live right now, we are not editing anything. But the allegation being that you are using this for public sympathy. Why have you decided to speak up today? Do you think you are going to be arrested tomorrow?
Rhea Chakraborty: No, I don’t think I’m going to be arrested tomorrow, because I have not done anything worthy of being arrested. But I feel the need to speak because my mother is now the verge of a mental breakdown completely. She might have to be moved to the hospital. My family is breaking, my father is being pushed around and almost physically and mentally lynched at. I have to do this for them. What about my family? What about what we are going through? And I didn’t speak for so many days out of respect for Sushant. And what was being said was so absurd that it irked me. It hurt me that they are destroying his memory. They are destroying him, have respect for the person who has gone at least. At least fact check. What is up with journalists in this country, he is dead.
NDTV: You said just now Rhea, that your family and you often consider, or think that you might just commit suicide. That’s a very strong thing to say, that’s something that shouldn’t be said lightly. Why are you saying something like that? Is it something to gain sympathy? What are you going through right now?
Rhea Chakraborty: I’m just broken, and I’m trying to find strength every day. For me and my family. The only reason we are still alive is because I am speaking the truth. The kind of mental, physical, emotional pressures on us are unbearable. Any other person going through such a situation or any other family might consider the same. It’s unfair, its unjust. It’s without proof. And the whole nation seems to have decided what they have decided. Based on what? Based on a few allegations? Based on a few reports saying that, saying absurd things.
NDTV: Well you know Rhea, I think the main point is that what’s gotten lost in this is the tragic death of a young man, but also, why the nation is saying this is because of the fact that the Bihar government got involved in this, the Bihar government, and the Supreme Court, which agreed for a CBI probe. The fact that agencies, and I have this with me, are leaking documents, are showing WhatsApp messages of you with people, they are saying are talking about drugs. With alleged drug dealers according to the agencies, so now you have got the Narcotics Control Bureau involved. What would you say about these WhatsApp messages that apparently show you talking to a dealer about “Get me MD” talking about weed, etc?
Rhea Chakraborty: I have never spoken to a dealer in my life, I have never taken drugs in my life. I’m willing to go for a blood test. I deny all these allegations and I would like to save the rest for when the investigation takes place because anything I say will get misconstrued.
NDTV: As these WhatsApp messages show, and as you have said that Sushant was taking drugs, or he was having weed?
Rhea Chakraborty: Yes, it is unfortunate that we have to speak about him in this light. But it’s not been done by me, the Pandora’s box has been opened by his family. They have put out these allegations. I wanted his memory to be pristine and beautiful, because he was a beautiful boy. But in turn these allegations are being put on me. And the fact remains that yes Sushant used to smoke marijuana. I tried my best to control him, to make him stop, this was the only department where I was trying to control him in something. I was trying to make him reduce it in fact. And I have been put in a position where unfortunately every single private detail of my life and my friend’s life is public. A simple “I am sorry” is taken out of proportion and me being treated like worse than a terrorist… my family’s mental health is being destroyed. This is, this is like the systematic breakdown of an entire family.
NDTV: But in a sense, Rhea, didn’t it begin when you first tweeted to the Home Minister of India asking for CBI probe into it. Did you actually open that Pandora’s box in a sense yourself? The fact that the Supreme Court has accepted and I again want to read out this, that the Bihar first information report (FIR) should be investigated which includes the claims of Sushant Singh’s father where he said in the FIR that when you left on June 8 you had taken cash, jewellery, laptop, credit cards. That you were handling his bank account from which crores of rupees were withdrawn, that you had threatened to show doctor receipts to the media and prove that Sushant Singh was mad and then no person would give him work. And then on June 8, Sushant’s secretary Disha committed suicide. You had appointed Disha as a secretary, you had blocked Sushant’s number and Sushant was afraid that you would frame in the suicide of Disha. These are from the Bihar FIR based on his father’s complaints.
Rhea Chakraborty: Ma’am they are completely baseless, they are worse than rumours. I never took a single rupee from Sushant. My bank statements are there I am already been probed by ED. This Rs 15 crore they are talking about does not exist now that Sushant’s bank statements are out there. This is a very big amount it would have been found, it cannot be hidden, it cannot disappear into thin air. We had a company together where we were equal partners where we all gave 33,000 each. No transaction was ever made in that company. I was not isolating Sushant, in fact he met his family on several occasions in November. In January, he in fact went to Chandigarh to his sister and brother in law OP Singh’s house. He came back from there, why did they let him come back if they said I was isolating him. In February, they met him again in Mumbai, where they are sitting in a cafe having food and smiling at each other. Why were they making these complaints and saying get that girl and whack her? That was the message to a senior cop in Mumbai Police by Sushant’s brother-in-law. Why were they making that and this doesn’t make sense to me, if you thought that, you had your brother in law, you had Sushant sitting with you at a cafe you should have told him what you felt. You should have taken him back with you.
NDTV: Why did you tweet to the Home Minister asking for a CBI inquiry? Do you think there was foul play in Sushant’s death? Do you think he was murdered? Why did you do that?
Rhea Chakraborty: I was not there from June 8 to 14. I want to know what happened in that one week, whether it was suicide, whether it was murder. If it was suicide, what drove him to that point because he had always told me that he would never take such a drastic step and that’s what shakes me. And that’s why I want India’s apex institution, which is CBI, to come and investigate this and I asked for CBI inquiry before the Bihar FIR, long before the Bihar FIR. I don’t know how people have turned this around and made this as “I don’t want CBI.” I have faith in CBI, have faith in the government and that is why I am still alive.
NDTV: It has become a huge political issue. You mentioned also in your statement to the Supreme Court that this has become about politics. That there is a Bihar election coming up. There’s also the fact that you have political party leaders targeting Maharashtra government, Aditya Thackeray, saying that he is linked to this case in some way and that’s why the Mumbai Police was going soft on you.
Rhea Chakraborty: The Mumbai Police never went soft, they were in fact extremely harsh… ED was one harsh investigation. CBI is going to be another such investigation and each investigation takes away a part of the mental health. Because to the world it’s like: do the investigation. Yes, I want the truth to come out so I am cooperating. I have been the centre and the person who was most questioned in all of these investigations. I want to know the truth, I don’t understand why nobody is questioning the fact that his sister Mitu was with him from (June) 8 to the 13. She left on the 13th, if she felt his mental health was not okay, if she felt that he was upset because of me or because of this Disha Saliya, then why did she leave?
NDTV: The Mumbai Police went into a completely different thing where they were interviewing members of the film industry on issues of nepotism and whether he felt bad of being left out or sidelined from the film industry. That was one completely different investigation. Now you have been questioned by the ED. What is the ED focused on because agencies are also leaking stuff which seems damaging to you as well. Reports of a Khar flat being bought where it is not clear where the source of money is… the fact that you’re being investigated for money laundering is a very different investigation from the Mumbai Police.
Rhea Chakraborty: It’s really sad that my entire WhatsApp chats, anything and everything, is out there. It’s only been given to the agencies. I have not given my phone to anyone else. It’s really sad that I have no privacy left, my friends’ numbers are being flashed on TV, I am being accused of everything under the sun and nobody is asking me what really happened and that’s why today I feel it’s time for me to speak up because of this one-sided narrative, every single person in my house…
NDTV: In fact your father was at the ED the whole day today, your brother is at the CBI. So your brother – many have asked why a company was set up with you, Sushant and your brother. Your father you said is a retired Army surgeon – he’s being questioned by the ED. The lockers will be opened. What was the ED investigation like for you and your family?
Rhea Chakraborty: They want to know every financial detail and we are happy to provide that, there is absolutely no problem in cooperation and I am willing, more than willing, to cooperate with every investigation agency which wants to investigate any matter with me, but all I ask for in the meantime is for a fair trial by the media, by the people, to just have faith and wait, because in turn your really, really are breaking down a simple innocent middle-class family, and a man who has served the nation as well.
NDTV: A simple innocent middle-class family… But Rhea, the portrayal is completely different. Tell us about Sushant and you… when you last saw him, when you first met him. Did you ever think that Sushant could take his own life?
Rhea Chakraborty: I honestly, I still don’t believe it and I didn’t think that such a thing would ever happen. He was absolutely the best guy, absolutely the most beautiful person I met in my life. He was intelligent and full of ideas and he had dreams and he wanted to change the world for the better, he wanted to help children, he wanted to do charities as he did a lot as well, he was extremely loving. He was the greatest boyfriend and he really looked after me. He would give me advice, if anything I would take a lot of advice on every single thing in my life, because he was, at the end of the day, a star and I really was proud of him for that and proud of what he has achieved in his lifetime. And coming from a small town and we bonded over it because I also grew up all over India, wherever my dad was being posted in various places. I also come from a small town. I also am an outsider. I am also trying to make it in this industry and we really want to do these things. We have a friendship that is something spectacular. And our relationship was something of a movie, something of fairy tale and yes, there were problems, and yes, he was going through depression and anxiety.
NDTV: No, because going by your own statement. It was a relationship that began in April, 2019 but very soon after that mental health issues started coming up. Was Sushant first diagnosed when he was with you as a bipolar and very severe in terms of the locking him up, the staying away from beating anybody and at that time… and perhaps that’s why his family is so upset with you because he had also cut himself off from his family completely and seemed to be very close to yours. I asked about it because of the fact that your brother accompanied you on your Europe trips, the fact that your brother was in a company with him… why should that be, considering he would have been a recent friend of Sushant’s, probably after he had met you.
Rhea Chakraborty: So Shovik and Sushant shared a lot of common interests. Like playing sports. My brother was inspired by Sushant, he was like an elder brother to him, he was like somebody he aspired to be like. And if he was interested in a certain subject, he would involve my brother, “read about this read, about that” and when his dream project on this virtual reality company was to start, he wanted partners and naturally the first best choice for him were me and my brother. As he was already discussing these things with us like Artificial Intelligence and virtual reality and he was teaching us all the things, and he was giving us assignments to do in fact. And there were no financial transactions. People see that angle and think that it was for money and just because of the company word everyone thinks its money, money, money. That’s not the case. All we did was start the company which requires very little amount of financial investment by partners equally and unfortunately none of the work kicked off, unfortunately none of those projects came to life. But there was really no other agenda, or anything to it, in fact we wanted Sushant to achieve his dreams, he had 150 dreams. And one of them was to create free education for children. One of them was to create something on artificial intelligence that would help children learn better and study better and I did everything in my capacity to help.
NDTV: You say that it was like a movie but the fact is that it ended on a sour note when in a sense, as you said, Sushant asked you to leave his house. He didn’t contact you after that, except once. He actually cut off all ties with you. There are messages then with film director Mahesh Bhatt and you were, in a sense, you said you’ve left. Mahesh Bhatt says “think of your father, child”. So it ended on an extremely sour note and it didn’t end in any kind of fairy tail on a happy note. So in a sense you guys were completely estranged then. Why did that happen if things were going so well?
Rhea Chakraborty: Ma’am, honestly, even in January 2020 he asked me to leave once and his explanation then was that he is going to Patna and then the very next day he called me back and I went back and I probably thought that this could be one of the same. In June 2020, he was planning to shift to Coorg and he was planning to move there. He even had contacted his lawyers and had asked Sidharth Pithani to find him a house there. And this time around again he was asking me to leave and I thought he will call me back like he normally does but for the next 24 hours he didn’t. And even when he messaged me, it was just to ask about how I am, how I am doing but nothing about him wanting me back. And naturally, if you are caring for someone and you love someone so much, they ask you to leave, you do feel upset, you do feel like, why does he not need me anymore, why does he not want me anymore and these insecurities as a girl, any girl can understand. That if your boyfriend or partner asks you to leave all of a sudden and you have been there for him in every capacity and you’ll have an amazing relationship you will be upset and hence I blocked him. And the next day, I was completely broken because even the next day, he messaged my brother and it had no mention of him wanting me back, just a message saying take care of her. How is she doing and you take care and take care and that was very rare, Sushant would never do that, he would always want me back. And I knew that his sister was there, and I knew that they would be more comfortable without me and without my presence. I didn’t know what could be the reason, why he didn’t want to see me. And of course it hurt me and of course it made me realise that maybe he does not want me anymore.
NDTV: How severe was the depression at the time he was with you? Did you warn his family about it?
Rhea Chakraborty: Yes, he was in fact in touch with his family all throughout his depression. After we came back from the trip, in fact on the trip, even from Italy and Vienna, he had started contacting his father and his sisters to tell them that he is anxious and to tell them that he is getting anxiety. In fact, after coming back he was constantly in touch with them for two months before they came to Mumbai to visit him at Waterstone in November. They decided to leave the same night they came to visit him. If they thought that I was not the right person in his life, in fact I told them about all the medication and all the doctors and handed over everything to them. Yet they left in the middle of the night. That’s why I don’t understand, I understand them not liking me because our relationships were strained from the beginning. In April, when his sister Priyanka tried to grope me in my sleep and I told Sushant. The next day they had an altercation of which chats are out there, where Sushant is saying that Priyanka has misbehaved under the influence of alcohol. It’s molestation and he’s messaging his brother-in-law Siddharth, who is Priyanka’s husband, saying that you know, you know this about her, you know how she is manipulating things. They wanted to do a case on him in this month and I hope that those messages come out now that everything is coming out. They were about to do a case against Sushant in those months. And thereafter, even though his sister came in November, I wanted him to be with his family, because it was a very serious issue.
NDTV: Rhea, you paint a picture of a very different, almost dysfunctional family. You said that Sushant was in a sense estranged from his father. You said his mother also suffered from the same issues. How did you know this? What is the proof you have?
Rhea Chakraborty: Ma’am, one that Sushant told me, and two that in 2011 his sister, Shweta Singh Kirti, who lives in the US if I’m not wrong… she put out a post on mental health on her Facebook account, you will find it in public domain about mental health, about how her mother was suffering and about how she feels strongly about how it runs in her family, it’s a genetic thing and how she wants to do something about mental health. She took it down from her Facebook page the day of the FIR in Patna.
NDTV: In fact she has also tweeted today saying that you shouldn’t be given a platform, a national platform, to express your views. But the father seems to have reached out to Sushant again and again. He says you actually blocked him from contacting his son.
Rhea Chakraborty: Sushant’s father only messaged me once. That was when Sushant was in the hospital, Hinduja, he was admitted under Dr Kersey. He had wanted to get admitted himself. As you know since I am not legally at power to admit anyone forcefully, it had to be his own will and which it was. His father had contacted Sushant as well as his manager Shruti as well as me, but it was one message to me and I told Sushant since I was there with him and he called him the same day. You can check his call logs. He did not want me to reply to him for some reason. What will you do if you are with your partner and they have something going on with their family that you don’t completely understand and they tell “you stay out of it I’ll handle it.” He spoke to his father on his own because Sushant’s father’s chat with Shruti shows that he says I’ve spoken to Sushant. But if you’ve spoken to Sushant you should tell him to tell Shruti to book the tickets. If that’s what he wants.
NDTV: Lets come back to that point I raised earlier. Why do you think that the Bihar elections or Bihar politics has anything to do with this. And do you know Aditya Thackeray? Have you ever met him… what is the whole Aditya Thackeray angle which keeps coming up connected to this case and you?
Rhea Chakraborty: There is a call log of mine that is leaked which has a friend of mine, Anaya Udas whose name has been saved as AU. Her name is Anaya Udas, but they are representing it as Aditya Uddhav or Aditya Thackeray. I have never met, I have never spoken or have the number of Aditya Thackeray. I only know him as all of you know him on TV. I have no other political connections. I do not know anything about why this is happening and what politics is involved. I just know that a simple family who has not done anything is being treated worse than a terrorist.
NDTV: So when you hear that a BJP leader wants an anti-terror agency to investigate this, what is your response?
Rhea Chakraborty: I am shocked because I feel like this, like this is a breaking down of a family. Tomorrow if something happens to us and it’s not because we’ve done anything but it’s because of tremendous pressure. There is the media outside screaming all kinds of names. There are false allegations, everyday there is a new accusation or allegation by the family to me. Sometimes it’s about being a murderer, sometimes it’s about being a thief, sometimes it’s about something. Sometimes it’s about drugs, and I am not getting the chance because I am part of so many investigations, right now three, there’s ED, there’s CBI, there’s NCB. I mean all I have left is my spirit and that’s being crushed too, Ma’am.
NDTV: You said that when you left on the 8th of June Sushant died on 14th. When you left on the 8th of June you said you were going through panic attacks you were going to have therapy session as well at Sushant’s house, but he said no leave immediately. When you first heard that Sushant had died what was your first reaction, what did you go through and what are you going through right now?
Rhea Chakraborty: I hear from a common friend that such and such rumour is going on about him and if you’re with him, they assumed that I was with him, please tell him to put out a statement and squash this rumour. It was only then that I realised that something was weird. And then sooner, later it was confirmed that it’s true and I was completely shattered I was completely broken. My life has been taken away from me; the love of my life has been completely taken away from me. The health and mental health of my family is completely destroyed. I mean it just couldn’t be worse for me. And the only thing that is giving me strength to go on is that I am speaking the truth and is that Sushant is here overlooking everything and helping me and helping me get the truth out.
NDTV: You weren’t invited to the funeral you couldn’t see the man you say was the love of your life. You weren’t invited to his funeral. But yet you went to the mortuary and a lot has been made on the fact that you said there “sorry Babu” and what we are sorry about. What went through your mind when you were there you saw his body for just a few minutes.
Rhea Chakraborty: Ma’am, what would you say to someone who has lost their life who you have loved? Ma’am I’m asking you only what would you say? I’m sorry, I’m sorry you lost your life. I am sorry it’s, I mean it’s the most basic human courtesy. His sister Shweta Singh Kirti had also put out a tweet the day after Sushant Singh died, saying I’m sorry Babu the same thing and she said, “I knew you were suffering. I know you were in pain”. Again, she deleted that, why is nobody asking these questions? How is everything being misconstrued to this degree. A simple I am sorry is being misconstrued to this degree.
NDTV: I can imagine the tragedy of seeing someone you loved – his dead body. But it seems that every day a new layer comes out. You’ve seen now with his whole drugs angle coming out. That the actress Kangana Ranaut has tweeted this happens in all big Bollywood parties that drugs are freely available, that if you open it the whole of Bollywood would be exposed – many A-listers. You have seen various other things like clean up Bollywood is part of a larger Nepotism – it’s an industry which needs to be cleaned up and Sushant was also a victim of that. What would you say as someone who has been part of the same system, someone who didn’t receive the success that say Sushant did or the bigger stars did but somebody who is part of the system. Do you think these are the realities of living in Bollywood today? The drugs, constant stress on living up, you are a failure or success is defined by your last movie?
Rhea Chakraborty: Ma’am, it’s definitely a very difficult industry to be a part of. The ups are up, the downs are very down and there is enormous pressure and I would like to say this that it’s very important that there were certain things that really affected him and that really affected his mental health and mental sanity, and one of them was being falsely accused by the ‘Me Too’ allegations which were cleared up and only much later. Which seemed like an entire planned strategic move, done to malign someone’s reputation, and it really affected him because he was not that kind of guy at all. I lived with him for a year-and-a-half, and he was the most polite, most gentle, most respectful human being and a man to a woman, and this was being made from that ‘Me Too’ movement, and his co-star Sanjana Sanghi not clarifying it on time and then denying it later. He just felt that it was part of some larger nexus being done by a Rohini Iyer, who pretends to be his friend. And these blind articles that kept coming out each time he would speak to her. And he felt that there was someone behind this. I don’t know who, he never mentioned to me who, but I have mentioned this to Mumbai Police, I have mentioned this to ED, and I will tell and mention this to the CBI as well. That also not being nominated for awards, not being nominated even though his films were outstanding and got money as well. Not being nominated. His films being nominated, but not him being nominated. Even though he was such a brilliant performer, like shockingly great performances of his were not nominated. Even last year during Chichore and Sonchiriya, he felt that what is the point if nobody is going to take notice and he was affected by that and these things hurt him. These frivolous, blind articles and especially the allegation. The only reason I am emphasising on this particular one is because even in May 2020 he mentioned to me about that he was scared that the film is releasing, so before the promotions he wanted to get in touch with Sanjana Sanghi. To see which way she is going, is she going to start this rubbish again. And he would often be scared of her and that in the promotions things again will be said about him, about ‘Me Too’. And these are things that can affect mental health and today I understand, I completely understand because I am going through the same thing as him.
NDTV: Is it true that drugs are prevalent in Bollywood? It is something that you almost need to survive this kind of industry?
Rhea Chakraborty: No ma’am, absolutely not, I don’t believe in that kind of theory. But well that would be for the investigative agencies to decide.
NDTV: Did you find, because we mentioned your chats with Mahesh Bhatt, you had acted in his movie Jalebi also. But the fact that this whole groupism, as you said the Mumbai Police first went on that angle, but this whole allegation of nepotism. The fact that there are certain camps in Bollywood. You were Yash Raj, Sushant was Yash Raj. And the fact that he wasn’t invited on Koffee with Karan or some silly game played by Alia Bhatt and Karan Johar is something that hurt him so deeply he couldn’t recover from that depression – is that true?
Rhea Chakraborty: Ma’am I personally feel that it was the ‘Me Too’ allegations is what started the pain and stress and pressure to Sushant and he did feel someone was behind it. He didn’t feel that it was strategically done but always just “them, them, them, and I don’t know who those people are”. But he always felt that behind a Sanjana Sanghi there would be someone else.
NDTV: When you look – do you wish today that you had never met Sushant Singh Rajput?
Rhea Chakraborty: No Ma’am. Even today, even despite what me and my family are going through I would have never done anything else but love him in the way I did. I continue to love him that way even though I am going through all of this. It’s his memories and his face that give me the strength to carry on. It’s his voice in my head saying don’t let them win. It’s his voice in my head saying you are strong, show them the real you. That keeps me going.
NDTV: I’m not one to judge you here. I am a journalist and my job is to ask you questions. I definitely don’t want to indict you – innocent, guilty that’s not my job. But the fact is, you’ve been judged already, the hashtags on other TV channels say arrest Rhea Chakrabarty right now. You get rape and death threats. Do you feel that this is also happening because you are a woman? The last time I saw this was in the Aarushi trial when I saw her parents being hounded in a similar way. CBI case dragged on for years, and no real outcome. Do you worry that something like that would happen to you? What would you say about the attack that is happening on you?
Rhea Chakraborty: I’m just because of his girlfriend, just because I am, I was less successful than him that makes me a gold digger and an exploiter for my career. Just because I was looking after him because he was here alone. People have made stories that I was doing this to him on purpose. Why would I do this to him when I am doing a film with him post the lockdown. He’s the best boyfriend to me, he loves me. Why would I do something like this? These allegations are made because has a girlfriend he usee ne he kiya hoga. Girls are manipulative, Bengali girls do black magic. Uski aukat kya hai to be with a star like him. It’s really, really sad that anytime anything happens to a man the woman is blamed. If she’s the girlfriend, if she’s the bahu. The in-laws also often blame the bahu that, bahu theekh say nahi kar rahi hai. I thought in India today we would have moved away from these stereotypes and this unfortunate slander against women, but it continues. This is an absolute witch-hunt. And me being Bengali is a cherry on the cake for them because apparently all Bengali women do black magic. I don’t understand this.
NDTV: I don’t understand that either, that black magic rubbish. And also the Bihar BJP said that. He said that about you the iski aukat kya hai that she will say something about the Chief Minister of Bihar. What was your reaction when you heard that? What is Rhea Chakraborty’s aukat?
Rhea Chakraborty: My aukat is that Sushant loved me. Sushant Singh Rajput who now everyone claims to love, loved me.
NDTV: Rhea again we come back to what the family says, and forget the family, again they are grieving so I don’t want to get into the family and what they said specifically. But what the agencies are charging you with. It’s not about a love story, it is a criminal story. Very serious allegations – it is tax payers money which is paying for this investigation. It is happening at a pace that we haven’t seen in many cases, involving bank scams, involving murder, involving rape. We won’t see this kind of attention on it. But we see it right now on you.
Rhea Chakraborty: I don’t seem to understand why I am in the centre of this. I feel like it’s partly because of this mentality that a girlfriend is manipulative or there is a certain witch-hunt mentality that goes around in this country. And it’s partly because his family has made all these false allegations. And it’s just sad to me that collectively all of this is the, I never thought the world could be this sick. I never thought that humanity could be shredded to this degree, you know. That people can’t see through false stuff, that people can’t see through made-up news and people have to continue to believing all the gossip. They have made my life like watching a soap opera, like it is no less than watching a Saas Bahu show on prime-time television, on news channels today. No proof, just baseless allegations, morphing random people who were not in his life, taking statements from here and there. Everyone has become the Judge and the Jury. I humbly appeal to all the women to have ever lost a loved one in their life, whether it’s a husband or a son or a boyfriend or a brother. Just because you were in their life you are not the cause. You probably were the caregiver.
NDTV: In fact that people who have come out strongest against you are women. You’ve got Ankita, his ex-girlfriend saying that when he was with me there were never any thoughts of suicide. You said that he had a medicine that he took on flights. She’s tweeted a picture of him on a simulator saying he loved flying.
Rhea Chakraborty: That’s why he wanted to learn how to fly, so he doesn’t feel the claustrophobia. And so that he never has to sit in the back as a passenger. She wouldn’t know that because she was not in his life for the last four years. She had no communication with him, yet Ms. Ankita Lokhande makes statements like Sushant told her that I was harassing him? But when did you speak to him that he told you all of this? How can you make this statement when you haven’t spoken to him, and the next statement is that you haven’t spoken to him? So, you haven’t spoken to him, yet he told you somehow? Ma’am, do people not see through this? Do people not see that she is lying? Is it not quite clear?
NDTV: What about other women who have spoken out against you?
Rhea Chakraborty: Even with Ankita I would expect that she probably loved him at some point and she should have understood the kind of pain that I am going through. She should have actually reached out to me instead of going in talking all kinds of lies about me. And even with other women, I don’t know how and why they believe all these stories. I just want to ask one question, what if this was happening to you? What if this was happening to your daughter? What if this was happening to your sister? What if this was happening to your best friend? Would you still be part of this witch-hunt?
NDTV: Do you think that this has become an election issue? Do you think that the death of Sushant is now all about politics?
Rhea Chakraborty: It’s really sad that Sushant’s death has become a spectacle. They are debating, they are just destroying his memory. This is not the way that he should be remembered. This is that not the way. He did amazing things in his life, not the images that are circulating. If you consider yourself a fan of Sushant how can you circulate such painful images of him out there. And I understand that you want justice for him, so do I. I asked for the CBI inquiry before you. I want to know what happened between the 8th and the 14th. I asked for the inquiry before you. But does that mean that I am wrong? Just because I was his girlfriend, I don’t understand the mentality. I don’t understand the absurdity of it I don’t understand why anyone can’t see through it.
NDTV: What do you think killed Sushant Singh?
Rhea Chakraborty: I really, I really want to know, I really want to know that what happened in the last one week, whether it was suicide or whether it was something else and I am happy that a top agency like CBI is involved, because there are so many conspiracy theories and so many rumours going on about this that they will finally be able to clarify all that.
NDTV: I want to ask you the three main charges again, so it is very clear what your stances are. Charge 1, you took money from Sushant Singh Rajput. He funded your family, that the money laundering is the real issue here.
Rhea Chakraborty: Absolutely not, I did not take a single rupee from Sushant. No money was ever transferred from Sushant to me or any of my family members accounts. We loved each other, we lived as girlfriend boyfriend and we lived together. There were probably a few things he bought me from Zara etc which are now in the public domain as did I buy him, but I mean other than that there was no; our relationship was not a financial relationship. We were in love just like any other normal couple. We live together and that’s about it I don’t know this has become a financial exploitation angle. And please tell me which gold digger shops at Zara?
NDTV: Second charge, you poisoned him, you were controlling his drugs. And his medication, you cut him off from his old staff. You cut him off from his old friends.
Rhea Chakraborty: Ma’am, firstly Sushant had five doctors and he had prescriptions; they were prescription medications that he would take on his own or ask anyone to give him if he was too low on a particular day. He had doctors visiting him, everything was done under the supervision, they are top-notch doctors, not some random doctors and there were four, five of them. Secondly, he stopped taking medication in Jan 2020 at his own will. If I was forcing him, I would have not let him stop. Thirdly in June, when he spoke to Dr Kursi Chawla on June 3rd and Dr Kursi Chawla sent a prescription. Again, he did not take those medications. And fourthly, poison him? This is the most sad and bizarre and pathetic allegation to make on someone who loved someone. And based on what? Based on what, what is this based on?
NDTV: Do you think Rhea, that the Sushant you knew could have taken his own life?
Rhea Chakraborty: Ma’am I want to know. I really want justice. If there is anything that’s absurd and wrong and if there is foul play then I want justice for Sushant. If this is suicide and what are the causes of that, I want justice for Sushant. I, that’s why I want to know what happened from the 8th to the 13th while his sister Meetu Ji was there, while other people were there in the house, what transpired in that week that led to this? Even I want to know. The same question that all of India is asking, I am asking the same question.
NDTV: But do you think that the man you knew could have done this? There are so many misconceptions about mental health. In fact one of the biggest casualties is the way people are talking about mental health. People think that somebody who seems happy couldn’t do this. Do you think he could have done this?
Rhea Chakraborty: No unfortunately people judge depression and anxiety and mental health so poorly and so badly that the person and their support group find it really difficult, because they can’t openly tell people. Because when he would tell people that he was suffering from depression they would turn around and say it’s your Karma or you are just doing this for attention. Or some rubbish like that. So, the person going to it does feel very misunderstood and that is a very big reason probably why people in depression commit suicide. In Sushant’s case I really don’t understand why he would do something like this. Yes, he was going through depression and anxiety. But he was really fighting hard, and he was getting better and he was better many a times. Yes, his condition had worsened during the lockdown but I really don’t know what happened in those seven days. Even if he were to take some step like this, so drastic, there would have to be a reason and contrary to what people believe that someone who is depressed won’t smile or laugh, that’s not true, that’s not true.
NDTV: There are reports that you could be arrested as soon as tomorrow. If you are arrested tomorrow what would you like to say today to the people who are watching this? And what would you like to say perhaps to Sushant’s family?
Rhea Chakraborty: I would ask this family to have some humanity, have some sympathy. Even if you don’t like me don’t destroy me and my family. I will not let you win. Because I am speaking the truth and the truth will prevail. And I will make sure, even though I break every second and you break every member of my family emotionally and mentally, I will fight till my last breath until the truth comes out.
NDTV: What would you say to all the media who are hounding you?
Rhea Chakraborty: I would say, please don’t be the judges. Let the law enforcement agencies do their jobs. Let the people being investigated do their job by providing the law enforcement agencies whatever they need. Have faith in the Judiciary as I do, and please let me have a fair trial. Please don’t make this a story line that’s completely baseless. Please be responsible because this is about my life, and my family’s life and there are four people involved in this, me and my three family members. You might be the reason that their lives get completely destroyed.
NDTV: Are you worried Rhea about being arrested?
Rhea Chakraborty: No, I’m not, I haven’t done anything, why should I be arrested? I am cooperating with all the investigative agencies.
NDTV: What would you say finally to all the people who are watching this?
Rhea Chakraborty: I would say that there are always two sides to a story, you have been hearing one narrative and one story for the last several months. Please try and see the practicality and the logic of what I am saying. Please understand that there could be no motive for me to do something like this. I absolutely loved and am finding it difficult to live without. Please try and see through all the fake news and all the drama that is going on in all the circus they have created by destroying somebody’s death and making it a very weird bizarre situation. And please try and have some heart to see what me and family are going through is very unfair.
NDTV: Rhea thank you very much for speaking to NDTV, and thank you for speaking to us live.