Just two months after Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead in his Mumbai apartment, his actress girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty has found herself at the centre of a vicious hate campaign led by some of India’s most high-profile journalists and social media trolls.
Rajput was a rising star in India’s popular Hindi film industry, and his death shocked India. His body was discovered in his bedroom on 14 June. Mumbai police said the 34-year-old appeared to have taken his own life, and reports in the press suggested that the actor had been dealing with mental health issues.
But within days, the attention generated by his death had shifted to Chakraborty. She has become the subject of gossip and innuendo and misogynistic abuse. Every little detail of her life and relationship have been laid bare and debated in public.
Conservative television hosts have described her as a “manipulative” woman who “performed black magic” and “drove Sushant to suicide”. On social media, she has been trolled mercilessly and called a “fortune huntress”, a “mafia moll” and “sex bait to trap rich men”.
Last month, Chakraborty posted on Instagram a screen grab of a message from a person claiming to be a fan of Rajput’s, threatening her with rape and murder and urging her to “commit suicide otherwise I will send people to kill you”. (BBC)