Bollywood starlet Jiah Khan found dead

Initial police reports suggest that the actor committed suicide.

News Desk/reuters/ians June 04, 2013
Sources privy to Jiah reveal that she was undergoing a lot of work-related pressure. PHOTO: FILE

Bollywood actor Jiah Khan, who debuted in Ram Gopal Varma’s Nishabd, was found dead at her apartment in Mumbai’s posh area, Juhu, in an apparent suicide, police said on Tuesday. The news caused uproar in the Bollywood fraternity.

The 25-year-old was nominated for Filmfare Best Debutant for her role in Nishabd, a film which was inspired by American Beauty and Vladimir Nabokov’s classic novel Lolita and underwent intense criticism for its controversial storyline. After Nishabd sank at the Bollywood box office, Khan went on to play supporting roles in Aamir Khan-starrer Ghajini and Akshay Kumar-starrer Housefull. She also sang, composed and choreographed one of the songs in Nishabd, Take Lite.

The police said that Khan’s mother found her body hanging from the ceiling in her room on Monday night. A post-mortem examination was launched by the police to establish the cause of her death. The police are investigating her neighbours and are also probing the links of the Bollywood actor with actor Aditya Pancholi’s son Sooraj, who had reportedly been in a relationship with Khan, according to the Times of India (TOI).

Sources privy to Jiah reveal that she was undergoing a lot of work-related pressure. PHOTO: FILE

TOI quoted sources and reported that Sooraj may also be summoned for an inquest. Khan and Sooraj had been close friends and were spotted at various parties together.

Khan, whose real name was Nafisa Khan, was born in New York. She was the daughter of Ali Rizvi Khan, Pakistani actors Sangita and Kavita’s only brother. Raised in Chelsea, Khan went to New York to study acting. However, upon receiving the offer by Varma, she quit.

The actor, who was in her mid-20s, had recently shifted to Mumbai with her mother, Rabia Amin. A few hours after the news of Khan’s suicide broke out, her mother spoke to the media about her death. “She [Khan] was very upset after coming back from Hyderabad, where she had auditioned for a film. She said that she could not do well and felt that her Bollywood career wasn’t progressing,” quoted Amin.

Her mother also added that Khan had expressed her wish to quit Bollywood and take up interior designing as a career.

In a messaged posted on Twitter, Varma, who launched Khan, said, “The last time I met her, Jiah told me that everyone around her makes her feel like a failure.”

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Published in The Express Tribune, June 5th, 2013.

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