Ankita said in a TV interview that Sushant had an admirable zest for life and that she would stand by his family to demand the truth behind his death.

Sushant Singh Rajput, dressed in a black suit, with his ex girlfriend Ankita Lokhande wearing a white saree.
news Controversy Friday, July 31, 2020 - 21:19

Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput's former girlfriend, TV actor Ankita Lokhande, in a recent interview said that Sushant had an admirable zest for life and she could not believe that depression had led to his reported suicide. Ankita and Sushant met on the sets of popular TV serial Pavitra Rishta and dated for over six years till 2016.

In her first interview post Sushant's demise on June 14, Anikta told Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami that the actor was a happy guy who took success and failure in his stride. Ankita’s disbelief over depression being the reason behind Sushant’s death comes in the light of allegations about the bullying and sidelining of 34-year-old actor by the Bollywood bigwigs and a raging debate on nepotism in the industry.

Sushant was found dead at his Bandra residence last month. The actor's untimely demise was followed by a high-profile investigation by Mumbai Police during which many big names from Bollywood, including filmmakers Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Aditya Chopra, recorded their statements. Over a month after the actor's death, his father also lodged a police complaint in Patna on Tuesday against his girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, accusing her of abetting the suicide, and allegedly befriending Sushant to use his contacts in the film industry.

In his complaint, Krishna Kumar Singh, who had been maintaining a stoic silence over the tragic death of his 34-year-old son, also sought to invoke the provisions of the Mental Health Care Act, alleging that the "machinations" of Rhea and her family members had caused his son to crack up, despite a successful career in films, and ultimately drove him to suicide.

"When the news came and it was everywhere that he died by suicide, it took me a lot of time to accept it. I want to tell everyone that Sushant was not the kind of guy who could get depressed. He was not somebody who will commit suicide (sic) because he is sad. He was a happy guy. Sushant and I have been through worse situations. I don't know what position he was in and what was he doing, but as time passed, I started trying to understand how somebody's death is labelled as suicide. But as far as I know, Sushant was not depressed,” Ankita told Republic TV.

"I have not seen a person like Sushant, a guy who used to write his own dreams. He had a diary... He had his five-year plan -- what he wants to do, how he will look, etc. And exactly after five years, he had fulfilled them. And when things like depression' are used with his name... it is heart breaking,” she added. “He could be upset about a few things. We all get anxious, he could have been anxious. But depression is a big word. Calling someone ‘bipolar' is a big thing.”

While Ankita’s words seem to be coming from a sense of disbelief and loss of a loved one, many experts have been pointing out through these discussions that mental health struggles do not ‘look’ like anything and people including close family may not be aware. 

Sushant was also reportedly seeking treatment from a mental health professional, which doesn’t necessarily say anything about the reason behind his reported suicide.

Anikta added that it was hard for her to accept the narrative that Sushant was not happy because of a few box office failures as he had a lot of patience and always believed in bouncing back.

“He used to say, if anything doesn't happen, I will make a short film. I have seen him working so hard for himself. He was doing theatre and chose Pavitra Rishta. He was one of the biggest stars on TV. He left the show when he was at his peak because he wanted to do something else. He did films. He was someone who knew what he wanted to do. To get into films, he waited for three years. He was sitting at home and waiting for that one break. Everybody doesn't have so much patience,” Ankita said.

Asked about claims of financial instability being a reason for his depression, Anikta said money was never on Sushant's agenda. "Money was a small thing for Sushant, his passion was way bigger than anything else. He always used to say, if everything ends, I will build my empire again.”

After the FIR was lodged by Sushant's father, Ankita had posted on Twitter a black-and-white image with "Truth Wins" written in the centre.

Commenting on her cryptic post, the actor said Sushant's demise is a big loss and like all his admirers, she also wants to know the truth.

“I said ‘Truth Wins.’ And we all want to know the truth. I want to know what happened. That's why I am here. His family and friends, me, we all want to know what happened with him. A good and happy guy has just gone like this. It's a big loss.”

The actor said while she is unaware about Sushant's relationship with Rhea, she shares a good equation with his family. “I can't comment on Sushant and Rhea's relationship. I was not there. As for Sushant's family, I want to take a stand for them. They must have something to prove and show people.”

(PTI inputs)

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