In an exclusive interview with India Today, Rhea Chakraborty’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde has spilled the beans about everything.
Be it the reason why Rhea left SSR’s house, the alleged molestation incident, or how Rhea is not against a CBI probe but the illegal registration of the case and its investigation by the Bihar Police – Satish Maneshinde has revealed all.
When asked about how Rhea-Sushant started seeing each other and how long they lived together, Maneshinde said – “Rhea and Sushant had known each other for several years since they both worked in the film industry. In April 2019, Rhea and Sushant attended a party hosted by the film fraternity and shortly thereafter began dating. Even though they spent a lot of time in each other’s homes, they officially moved in together in December 2019. They were staying together at Mount Blanc apartment in Bandra, till Rhea left on June 8, 2020.”
Talking about why Rhea left Sushant’s place on June 8, Maneshinde revealed that Sushant had requested Rhea to move in with her parents for the time being.
“Sushant had been calling his family, tell them he was moving out of Mumbai and requesting them to come meet him. After several days of Sushant calling and crying over the phone, his sister Mitu agreed to come live with him on June 8, 2020. Sushant then requested Rhea to move in with her parents for the time being. Rhea had been suffering from her own anxiety issues and panic attacks and Sushant’s conduct had aggravated these conditions. Even though Rhea wanted to see her family, she was not at all comfortable leaving Sushant. The very same day (June 8), Rhea had arranged a therapy session for herself with Dr Susan Walker and asked Sushant if she could leave after the session. But Sushant told her to leave immediately before Mitu arrived.”
(However, SSR Family Lawyer Vikas Singh refuted this in his statement to INDIA TODAY, saying that the facts were opposite. “Sushant’s sister had to go and stay with him because Rhea had left. She should explain why she blocked Sushant’s phone number if she had gone at Sushant’s behest”.)
Maneshinde also alleged that Rhea’s relationship with Rajput’s family was strained because of the alleged molestation incident involving SSR’s sister Priyanka Singh, back in April 2019 when the two had just begun dating.
Rhea’s version went like this – “ In the initial months of their relationship, when Rhea used to visit Sushant’s house, his sister Priyanka and her husband Siddharth were living with him. One night in April 2019, Rhea and Priyanka had gone out to a party. Priyanka consumed copious amounts of alcohol and was behaving inappropriately with men as well as women at that party. So, Rhea insisted that they return to Sushant’s home. Upon returning, Sushant and his sister continued drinking alcohol while Rhea retired for the night as she had a shoot the next morning. Rhea was asleep in Sushant’s room when she suddenly awoke to find Priyanka had got into bed with her and was groping her. Rhea was extremely shocked and demanded that she leave the room immediately. Subsequently, Rhea herself left the house. Thereafter, Rhea informed Sushant as to what had transpired and Sushant got into an argument with his sister regarding the same. Because of this incident, the relationship between Sushant’s family and Rhea had been strained since its inception. Even after his death, when a list of 20 people was made on who would attend the funeral, Rhea’s name was not included. She couldn’t attend the funeral.”
(Again, SSR’s family lawyer Vikas Singh rubbished this allegation against Priyanka and told INDIA TODAY: “My limited response is that she made a completely false allegation. Sushant had even apologised to his sister later on for this. The entire family knew it was a false allegation.”)
Satish Maneshinde also opened up about the allegations against Rhea, stating that these allegations came as an afterthought with ulterior motives. He denied all allegations and said nothing incriminating has been found against Rhea by Mumbai Police or Enforcement Directorate.
“No allegations whatsoever were made till July 27, 2020, by anybody in the family. Their statements were recorded by the police in Mumbai. They are educated and have an IPS officer, O.P. Singh, in the family. These allegations have come as an afterthought now, and are totally concocted for ulterior purposes. Rhea denies all the allegations, of abetment to suicide, misappropriation of funds and all others. Both the Mumbai Police and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) have been handed all the financial documents of Rhea which clearly show that the allegations are false. She has not received a single transfer of money from Sushant’s accounts. Her income tax returns have been examined by the police as well as the ED. Nothing incriminating has been found.”
When questioned about Rhea’s stance on CBI probe in SSR Case, Maneshinde said Rhea has no objection to the case being transferred to the CBI, but is opposing the transfer of an illegal investigation (by Bihar Police) to CBI.
“Rhea has always maintained that the truth must be revealed through a fair and impartial investigation. She admitted in her petition to the SC that she sent a message to Union home minister Amit Shah, requesting him to order a CBI investigation. She has also informed the SC that she has no objection to the case being transferred to the CBI. What she has challenged is the illegal registration of a case and investigation by the Bihar Police which has no jurisdiction and transfer of an illegal investigation to the CBI. Unless the Maharashtra government consents to a CBI investigation, the case cannot be transferred to the CBI. The Bihar government ought to have transferred the investigation to the Mumbai Police as per the notification issued by the Union government. The very foundation of the federal structure is at stake with the present actions of the Bihar government.”
Satish also addressed Rhea’s apprehension of Bihar Police, and how she’s entitled to a fair and impartial investigation.
“The Bihar Police has no jurisdiction to investigate the case and Rhea will not submit to an illegal investigation. There were various reasons that made my client apprehensive about the nature of the investigation conducted by the Bihar police. The Bihar police registered the FIR on the same day that the complaint was received, despite a delay of over 40 days. They arrived in Mumbai without once summoning my client to cooperate with their investigation. There were several newspaper articles quoting the family’s advocate where he states that the Bihar Police were hesitant to register the FIR but did so at the behest of the political leadership there. My client has not shied away from cooperating with any investigating agency so far, but she is entitled to a fair and impartial investigation by an agency that has jurisdiction to investigate the case. The manner in which the proceedings were instituted in Bihar, it appeared unlikely that she would receive fair treatment.”
Satish Maneshinde also said that Rhea has become a political target as politicians are trying to get mileage out of the SSR case on the eve of the elections in Bihar.
When asked about Rhea’s acquaintance with Aaditya Thackeray and Dino Morea, Satish cleared the air saying – “Rhea does not know Aaditya Thackeray personally nor has she ever met him. She has also not spoken to him ever, on the phone or otherwise. She has met Morea socially as he is her senior in the film industry.”