I knew I was innocent, says the late actress' boyfriend
The Supreme Court has confirmed the bail of Rahul Raj Singh, accused of abetting the suicide of Balika Vadhu star and his girlfriend Pratyusha Banerjee and he is ready to put up a brave fight to prove his innocence.
Excerpts from an interview:
Q: The Supreme Court has refused to cancel your bail. This is a big reprieve for you?
A: I knew I was innocent. I wanted the truth to come out on its own. People who hardly knew the truth about my relationship with Pratyusha, lashed out at me. I kept quiet. If I had retaliated, it would have seemed like a feeble attempt to defend myself.
Q: Why were her friends so keen to attack you?
A: They couldn’t bear the fact that I had made a place for myself in Mumbai.
Q: Who are these friends?
A: Kamya Punjabi claims to be Pratyusha’s friend. And if Pratyusha’s call log for the entire year was checked, there might be just one or two calls.
Q: What about those girls who went on record accusing you of defrauding them?
A: I don’t know who they are. Where were they for five years since that’s when I’m supposed to have wronged them?
Q: What about Saloni Sharma?
A: She is my partner in an events management company. She’d meet me for business reasons. Stories about her and me are untrue. More people know me now than they did before. I’ll be linked with any girl I am seen with.
Q: Are you single right now?
A: Of course! I don’t know what will happen in the future. I was on anti-depressants until recently.
Q: Looking back at the whole experience, how do you feel?
A: Suicide is a very cowardly thing to do. I’ve gone through hell. I wasn’t given a chance to grieve for Pratyusha. I had to deal with all the rubbish that was heaped on me, plus a 9-year-old son who never existed.
Q: Where did this son come from?
A: I want to ask Kamya that. I am sure she pays my son’s school fees. I have no clue about the son.
Q: Why was Pratyusha depressed?
A: It was her financial mess that landed her in a depression. At a very young age, she earned Rs.5 crore to Rs.6 crore. Since she didn’t know how to handle her finances, she handed over her earnings to her parents. When she asked back for her hard-earned money, they said there was nothing.
Q: Her parents spent all her money?
A: She had a loan of lakhs and lakhs to pay. Her EMIs had not been paid for months. All the loans that she had taken were in Pratyusha’s name, not in her parent’s name. Because her parents didn’t earn anything. They own a five-bedroom home in Jamshedpur. Pratyusha didn’t even own a shack. She didn’t have one piece of jewellery.
Q: What did her parents do with their daughter’s money?
A; She got Rs.30 lakh to Rs.35 lakh in 'Bigg Boss' and yet she couldn’t pay back the loan. Nor were her EMI instalments paid back. Her car was purchased on loan. She had personal loans amounting to Rs.20 lakh to Rs.25 lakh.
Q: Are those loans going to be written off now?
A: According to the law, the parents have to repay the loans. And when they can afford to take me to the Supreme Court, I am sure her parents have the money to repay loans.
Q: What are your future plans?
A: I want to work hard. In spite of what has happened I love Mumbai. After Pratyusha’s death, I haven’t visited my hometown Ranchi even once. I don’t want people to say I’ve run away. The police has sealed my house for the last two months. I am staying in a hotel with my father.
Q: Why did the police seal your home?
A: No reason was given. Contrary to belief that isn’t Pratyusha’s house. It’s mine.
Q: Has this experience put you off relationships?
A: At least for now.
Q: What do you say to those who blame you for Pratyusha’s suicide?
A: I did nothing to provoke her into taking such a drastic step. I found out about her financial distress only three months before her death.
Q: So what did you do?
A: I gave my share of the fees that we earned for 'Power Couple' to her. She stayed in my house. If we had fights she could’ve easily broken up since we weren’t married. Why did she party with me days before her death? Why did she order her wedding lehenga if as her so-called friends say, she was unhappy with me?
Q: What about her friends saying you were physically abusive?
A: They claim to have a video to prove it. Why haven’t they shown it to the court? Pratyusha had filed a case against her former boyfriend for physical abuse. If I was violent with her, she could’ve done the same with me.
Q: So you don’t hold yourself responsible in any way for her death?
A: I’ve done nothing wrong. So I don’t feel guilty. If the courts had any doubts about my innocence, they’d have cancelled my bail. May 29th was my birthday. A day later, I got this wonderful gift from the courts.
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