- In an interview, Ankita insisted that Sushant had not been depressed
- "Calling someone 'bipolar' is a big thing," she said
- Rhea has been accused by Sushant's family of fraud, abetment to suicide
Public sentiments about actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death, allegedly by suicide, has refocused itself from filmmaker Karan Johar to actresses Rhea Chakraborty and Ankita Lokhande. Rhea, against whom Sushant's family have filed a police complaint, was dating the actor; Ankita and Sushant, co-stars on the hit TV show Pavitra Rishta, dated previously for six years. Two separate investigations are ongoing into Sushant Singh Rajput's death - one by Mumbai Police and the other by the Bihar Police based on the family's complaint against Rhea Chakraborty; investigations notwithstanding, social media has passed its own verdict on Rhea, spurred on by a TV interview in which Ankita Lokhande insisted that Sushant had not been depressed, as has been claimed, and could not have taken his own life.
In an interview to Republic TV, Ankita Lokhande said, "We have seen worse situations when we were together. He was a happy-go-lucky guy... He might be upset, anxious, yes, but depression is a big word. Calling someone 'bipolar' is a big thing." Ankita did clarify that she "didn't know what the situation was" but that Sushant Singh Rajput had not been depressed. "I don't want people to remember him as a depressed guy, he was a hero. He was an inspiration," she said. Ankita's interview followed a cryptic post she shared on Instagram that simply read "Truth Wins."
Ankita Lokhande named no names; Twitter, however, didn't need a name, seizing eagerly on her words as feeding into a narrative that has snowballed online - that Sushant Singh Rajput's death was suspicious. This week is ending with both actresses, Rhea Chakraborty and Ankita Lokhande, trending furiously - one has been cast as the villain, the other as a heroine. "Be like Ankita and not like Rhea," is the sentiment being expressed on Twitter - and certainly not in these polite terms. Sushant's sister Shweta Singh Kirti has posted an excerpt from Ankita's interview on her Instagram, with the words "Satyamev Jayate."
In the weeks after Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead at home in Mumbai on June 14, filmmaker Karan Johar was pilloried online for allegedly having participated in an industry boycott of the actor and also for championing 'star kids' in his films. The focus has now firmly shifted to Rhea Chakraborty, who told the Supreme Court this week that she had been living with Sushant for a year and moved out six days before his death. Rhea has been accused by Sushant's family of fraud and abetment to suicide. Sushant's father claims she restricted the family's access to the actor and that he lost films and became depressed after meeting her. The case against Rhea also includes a "suspicious transaction" of Rs 15 crore from Sushant Singh Rajput's account - this has now drawn the attention of the Enforcement Directorate.
Rhea Chakraborty, who has petitioned the Supreme Court to transfer the case against her from Patna to Mumbai, told the Supreme Court that the case against her had been concocted by Sushant Singh Rajput's family to harass her. Rhea is one of 40 people questioned by the Mumbai Police in its investigation into Sushant's death - filmmakers Aditya Chopra and Sanjay Leela Bhansali are among the list of 40.