Indian police hauled in Bollywood megastar Deepika Padukone for questioning on Saturday in an escalating drugs probe following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
Rajput was found dead in his apartment in June, sparking a media frenzy with rolling news channels speculating that his former girlfriend, actress Rhea Chakraborty, drove 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 and who has been hounded for months by the media together with her family, was arrested earlier this month for allegedly buying cannabis for Rajput and this week was denied bail.
The saga has now morphed into a probe by authorities into drug-taking within the multi-billion-dollar industry.
Padukone, 34, one of Bollywood’s biggest stars, was summoned earlier this week for questioning by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in Mumbai as well as actresses Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor and Rakul Preet Singh.
Singh’s statement was recorded on Friday. Kapoor and Khan were are also expected to appear before the NCB on Saturday.
Earlier this week, TV channel TimesNow broadcast sections of a WhatsApp conversation about procuring hash, alleging that the two people chatting were Padukone and her manager.
Director Karan Johar meanwhile, who has also been a target of TV channels and social media users since Rajput’s death, released a statement on Friday rejecting claims that drugs were consumed at a party that he hosted at his home last year.