Famous Bollywood star Deepika Padukone was interrogated by the Indian narcotics agency in an escalating drug investigation following the death of young actor Sushant Singh Rajput earlier this year.
Padukone, 34, arrived at the Narcotics Control Board (NCB) office in Mumbai on Saturday after receiving a summons earlier this week during a filming stint in the western Goa beach resort. Media reports say that no drugs have been seized from her.
NCB initiated the Bollywood drug investigation after the death of 34-year-old Rajput, whose body was found at his Mumbai residence in June.
̵1; Filmfare (@filmfare) September 26, 2020
According to local media, Padukone was questioned about whether she had procured prohibited drugs for consumption following an interception of telephone messages regarding questions with local contacts.
He is among the more than a dozen Bollywood professionals who have been questioned by NCB over the past two weeks about the film industry’s alleged links to drug traffickers and cartels.
Padukone manager Karishma Prakash was questioned on Friday.
Earlier this week, the TimesNow TV channel aired sections of a WhatsApp conversation about buying hashish, claiming the two people chatting were Padukone and his manager.
At least three other Bollywood actresses – Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor and Rakul Preet Singh – have been called up by the BCN.
Kapoor and Khan, both daughters of famous Bollywood actors, appeared before the agency on Saturday, while Singh’s statement was recorded on Friday.
Director Karan Johar, who has also been the target of TV channels and social media users since Rajput’s death, said in a statement Friday that drug abuse allegations at a party he hosted in July last year at his residence they were “false and baseless”.
Johar’s response came after an old video of a star-studded party at his residence surfaced on social media.
While an investigation into Rajput’s death is underway, the saga has morphed into an investigation by the authorities into drug use within Bollywood, a multi-billion dollar film industry.
Rajput’s death also sparked a media frenzy with Indian news channels speculating that his ex-girlfriend, actress Rhea Chakraborty, prompted him to kill himself with narcotics and even black magic.
Rajput’s family disputed reports that he suffered from depression and openly accused Chakraborty, 28, of stealing his money and harassing him.
The actress, who denies any wrongdoing, was arrested earlier this month for allegedly buying cannabis for Rajput. Her arrest came after she and her family were persecuted by the media for months.