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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Sooraj Pancholi: “I’ve been called a murderer, a criminal, an abuser”

Sooraj Pancholi, who turned 28 on November 9, took to Instagram to share his ordeal regarding the Jiah Khan case, which has been going on since the past six years.

Sharing a picture of two candles, the star kid not just thanked his parents and loyal fans for standing by his side throughout his trial but also took this opportunity to vent out his frustration over being called ‘a murderer, a criminal, an abuser’.

He insisted that he is ‘not the monster that has been portrayed in headlines.’

In January this year, a session court framed charges against Sooraj of abetting the suicide of his girlfriend and actor Jiah Khan.

Pancholi, however, pleaded not guilty. On June 3, 2013, 25-year-old Jiah was found hanging in the bedroom of her Juhu flat.

The CBI probe said a note written by Jiah had established that “Sooraj ruined her life.” Sooraj was arrested and charged with abetment but was later released on bail.

Here is Sooraj’s full letter:

“Today I complete 28 years of my life. I want to take up this moment to share a few thoughts that have been in my heart for a while.

I wanted to wait to speak out until the case ended, but it’s taken longer than expected. I don’t know where to start from.

It is difficult to express some feelings when so many people, so many emotions are involved. First, I want to thank those who have stood by me like a pillar of strength.

It has been a long journey that started when I was still trying to understand life. I have been fighting the case in court for the last 6 years, with patience and respect, waiting for the trial to be completed.”

“In this process I have been called a murderer, a criminal, an abuser and so much worse. I read these things about me almost every single day.

And my heartfelt effort has always been to be strong, respectful and ignore it. But they still fill my and my loved ones’ heart with so much sadness.

I don’t blame the people who call me names, because that’s how I have been portrayed in public, but I’m not the monster that has been portrayed in headlines.

I know how easy it is to think the worst of someone and accuse them but it is exceptionally hard to prove myself innocent as there’s a procedure that we need to follow.

A procedure that has taken long enough that I have been made to feel guilty without even being given a fair chance to prove my innocence.”

“There have been accusations and assumptions but there has been no validation. But, this is not about what others say.

This is about how I feel. For as long as I can remember, my dream has always been to make my parents proud.

I have always tried to be a good son to them. In the last 6 years, I’ve tried harder every day to achieve this dream and to be positive.”

“So today, I am praying with my heart that our family can move forward, that the trial can come to a fair end and that I can give back all the love, support and strength I have received from so many of you.

Thank you to all of you who constantly send positivity my way. You may not know it, but every single one of your prayers has helped.”

Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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