Today, leading actors Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan were summoned by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in relation to the on-going Bollywood drugs probe, following the inquest into Sushant Singh Rajput’s case.
Karan Johar, who has been linked with the case due to the arrest of Kshitij Prasad and questioning of Anubhav Chopra – both of whom were touted to hold senior positions in Johar’ company – Dharma Productions.
Karan Johar’s statement
Last year, Karan posted a video of a party that took place at his residence in Mumbai.
The party was attended by many big names from Bollywood like Varun Dhawan, Shahid Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Vicky Kaushal, Zoya Akhtar, Deepika Padukone, Malaika Arora, and others.
After the video went viral on social media, a politician posted on Twitter that these celebs were under the influence of drugs. Karan had already clarified that there were no drugs at his party.
However, after the video has resurfaced as part of the current drugs investigation, bringing the filmmaker under the scanner yet again.
Following several speculations by news channels on the identity of Kshitij and Anubhav, Johar has released a statement on social media to clarify his stance.
He writes: “Certain news channels, print/electronic media and social media platform(s) are wrongly and misleadingly reporting that narcotics were consumed at a party that I, Karan Johar hosted on July 28, 2019, at my residence.
I had already clarified my position way back in 2019 that the allegations were false. In view of the current malicious campaign, I am reiterating that the allegations are completely baseless and false.
No narcotics substance was consumed in the party. I WOULD LIKE TO UNEQUIVOCALLY ONCE AGAIN STATE THAT I DO NOT CONSUME NARCOTICS AND I DO NOT PROMOTE OR ENCOURAGE CONSUMPTION OF ANY SUCH SUBSTANCE.
All these slanderous and malicious statements, news articles and news clippings have unnecessarily subjected me, my family, and my colleagues, and Dharma Productions, to hatred, contempt and ridicule.”
— Karan Johar (@karanjohar) September 25, 2020
He adds: “I would like to further state that several media/news channels have been airing news reports that Kshitij Prasad and Anubhav Chopra are my “aides” / “close aides”.
I would like to place on record that I do not know these individuals personally and neither of these two individuals is “aides” or “close aides”.
NEITHER I, NOR DHARMA PRODUCTIONS CAN BE MADE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT PEOPLE DO IN THEIR PERSONAL LIVES. THESE ALLEGATIONS DO NOT PERTAIN TO DHARMA PRODUCTIONS.
I wish to further state that Mr Anubhav Chopra is not an employee at Dharma Productions.
He was briefly associated with us for only two months in the capacity of 2nd assistant director for a film, between November 2011 and January 2012 and as assistant director for the short film in January 2013.
He has thereafter never been associated with Dharma Productions for any other project. Mr Kshitij Ravi Prasad joined Dharmatic Entertainment (sister concern of Dharma Productions) in November 2019 as one of the executive producers on contract basis for a project which eventually did not materialise.
However, in the past few days, the media has resorted to distasteful, distorted and false allegations. I hope the members of the media would exercise restraint else I will be left with no option but to legally protect my rights against this baseless attack on me. – Karan Johar.”
Deepika Padukone First to be Summoned
Deepika Padukone was the first to arrive at a guest house in Colaba in south Mumbai from where an NCB team is operating.
She received summons earlier in the week while shooting for Shakun Batra’s next in Goa.
Padukone was questioned for more than five hours by NCB and confronted with her KWAN manager Karishma Prakash during questioning, as per various news sources.
If reports are to be believed, the Chhapaak actor questioned by NCB deputy director KPS Malhotra who is helming a 5 member team and the agency had apparently made a 20 question Questionaire.
Confronted with the WhatsApp Group chats, Deepika acknowledged and accepted those conversations, but denied consumption or possession of the drugs.
Padukone reached NCB guest house at around 9.50 am, left around 3:50 pm, according to a police official.
In light of reports by Republic TV, Deepika’s statements in today’s interrogation were ‘evasive & tutored’, therefore there could be a possibility of her being summoned again, though this has not been confirmed.
Sara Ali Khan and Shraddha Kapoor Interrogated
Following Deepika, Sara and Shraddha – both of whom have been co-stars of Sushant – also gave their statements to the NCB.
Shraddha, the Chhichhore actor informed the NCB officials that there was a party at Sushant’s farmhouse in Pawana but denied taking any drugs.
Kapoor has apparently admitted to chatting with Sushant’s former talent manager Jaya Saha but denied drug consumption.
As such, she has remained silent about the procurement and consumption of CBD Oil.
Sara had reached NCB’s zonal office at Ballard Estate in south Mumbai at around 1pm as her name cropped up during the questioning of Rhea Chakraborty, who has been arrested by NCB in the drugs case along with over a dozen others, officials said.
Times Now cites that Khan said that she did not break up with Sushant because of his alleged drug habit. The actress told them that she wanted to focus on her career as she was just starting out.
Sara also reportedly denied that she was being pressurized to end her relationship with him and has categorically denied the use of any drugs.
Her statement was recorded for around four-and-a-half hours and left the NCB office around 5.30 pm.
Further updates and developments to follow on Filme Shilmy.