Sushant Singh Rajput’s lawyer, Priyanka Khimani, who was handling all his legal and business matters, broke her silence over the conspiracy surrounding the actor’s death.
In an exclusive interview with Rajdeep Sardesai for India Today Television, Priyanka opened up on how she met the actor, on his dreams and aspirations, on his death, the conspiracy surrounding his girlfriend Rhea Chakroborty and much more.
On her relationship with the actor
I met Sushant sometime early last year, my role as his lawyer was to look at his legal and business affairs. He was one of those clients who had such varied interests. He was ambitious and he had a lot of interesting things on his wish list. I was working in very close proximity with him last year. I would oversee a lot of business decisions, companies that were setup or he wanted to start, new ventures he wanted to try to start, the endorsements he got, any upcoming projects. I would also do negotiations on his behalf. Often, I would provide advice on personal issues, whether it be legal or commercial. I worked very closely with Sushant.
On how she met Sushant Singh Rajput
We started working in early 2019. I was introduced to Sushant by his family. Coincidentally, his sister Priyanka, brought me in for the first time and introduced me. That’s how I met him. I was onboard and I worked on everything that has happened between 2019 and 2020.
On Rhea Chakraborty and her involvement in his businesses
Before I address that (Rhea Chakraborty), I think it is important to take one step back and understand the personality that Sushant was and a lot would make sense. He was one of those clients who could have had completely different career five years from now. It was not like he was fed up of it all. He was a man who was talented, who had varied interests. He wanted to do things beyond Bollywood, movies. If you start looking at him from that perspective, his decision can make sense. The company that was set up in 2018, there was no involvement of Rhea or Shouvik Chakraborty in it. He wanted to do so much, something in virtual reality, augmented reality, educate children, provide scholarship, space, ability to make all of these things happen. When Sushant and I talked about setting up the company, it was to give him the ability to do all of these things.
On Rhea and Shouvik’s role in the company
Any company requires the minimum role of individuals as director and promoters for being setup. At that point of time, given that the both of them were together, it was a question of setting something up. I don’t think for Sushant the goal was to create a business partnership. For Sushant, it was that this is the business that I want to do. It didn’t matter who he did it with. And since there were certain people in his life, it was simpler to set it up in this fashion. If you see the records, three people are equal shareholders and everyone has put money as investment in the most routine manner one would set up a company. We took decisions that were sound and thought through, but we didn’t take decisions that would impact anybody in the larger scheme. Rhea and her brother had invested to get the business kickstarted.
On his finances
I was just his legal and commercial advisor, I don’t know how he handled his finances. He would seek advice and my council. Sushant made his own decisions and that was how the finances were dealt with.
On the investigation
I was not questioned by the ED, but Mumbai Police did interview me. I was one of the first people to sit with the Mumbai Police. I have given all information that was needed and cooperated in investigation.
On Sushant’s sister Priyanka
After Priyanka made the initial introduction, it was only me and Sushant. No family member was involved, my advice was more personal and one-on-one. It was more of legal and commercial decisions.
On Sushant’s depression
I am not professionally qualified to comment on his state of mind. I haven’t seen any of these reports or I know of any conversations he had with his psychologist.
On his suicide
I was deeply shocked and heartbroken by what made him take such an extreme step. When I sit back and if I have to think to myself, deep down in my gut, as heartbroken I know I am, I know it was his decision. That’s what I am inclined to believe, he was a man who made his decisions. He would change his mind frequently. The man I knew, was the man who made his decisions. I never knew he was ever influenced by external factors. He didn’t care about other’s opinions. If people knew him, these things wouldn’t be discussed in the media.
On his financial problems
There was no lack of opportunity or work for Sushant. For any professional that is a good place to be. The speculations that he wasn’t getting any projects is untrue. He was not short of ad opportunities, film opportunities, there was no dearth of work.
On film industry being unfair to him
Entertainment business in general is like that, but he was not someone who would have been bogged down for not being included in some manner. He had a point of view regarding that. In film business, one is always putting up a certain persona, Sushant couldn’t do that. He never felt that ‘I am being isolated and I am never a part of discussion’. He believed in being his true authentic self. If someone behaved certain way, he didn’t care. He decided he wanted to be his own version, not something else.
On future projects
He was actually open to looking at different avenues. During lockdown, we had a talk around what should we do next, what is new. If Sushant was around, he would not endorse such kind of conspiracy theories going around about him.
On Disha Salian
I never met Disha. It is absolutely bizarre and illogical. I did not have any interaction or email exchange. I remember reaching to Sushant that your name is being dragged into it when this news broke out. This is how much we knew her. I had no interaction with her.
On his friends and political connections
Certainly I have never heard of those people being mentioned by Sushant or seen him meeting them. We did have certain occasions to celebrate and I never saw these people on such occasions.
On Sushant paying Ankita Lokhande’s EMIs
Sushant did spend on his hobbies, the things that he liked. However, I have no idea about his personal finances.
On conspiracies that Sushant was killed
As devastating as it is, as shocked as we all are, deep down I don’t believe the conspiracy theories. My gut tells me that it was his decision. I hope he hadn’t done it. But in my view, I don’t believe any theories. However, I don’t question the investigating authorities.