Bollywood actress Rhea Chakraborty has been arrested for allegedly buying drugs for her former boyfriend, the actor Sushant Singh Rajput, whose suicide sparked a media storm in India.
Rajput, 34, was found dead in June in his Mumbai apartment — with police saying he took his own life. A star with many hit movies to his name, his suicide initially triggered a debate over mental health in the multi-billion-dollar industry.
But Rajput’s family disputed reports that he suffered from depression and accused Chakraborty, 28, of stealing his money and harassing him. She has strongly denied the allegations.
Chakraborty was arrested on Tuesday. The police have also detained others in connection with the case including her brother and a member of Rajput’s house staff.
India’s top anti-crime agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation, has been probing his death since last month. The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) was looking into the star’s consumption of cannabis.
“We will be opposing bail petitions” for all suspects, NCB Director Mutha Ashok Jain told reporters. The actress has been remanded to judicial custody until September 22.
The investigation has grabbed headlines for months, with the media closely following the back-and-forth allegations between Rajput’s family and Chakraborty.
Some celebrities including actress Sonam Kapoor and director Anurag Kashyap accused TV channels of carrying out a “witch hunt” against Chakraborty.
Born in the eastern state of Bihar, Rajput quit engineering studies to pursue a career in acting and dance.
He got his big break in 2013 with “Kai Po Che”, a film about cricket, love, and politics that won acclaim at the Berlin film festival.
He was also lauded for his portrayal of Indian cricket hero Mahendra Singh Dhoni in a hit 2016 biopic.
In an interview with AFP that year, Rajput spoke of the emotional rollercoaster he experienced while filming the movie, which portrayed the heartbreak suffered by Dhoni when the cricketer’s girlfriend died.
“After we did the preparation, in my head I was him and everything that was happening was actually affecting me,” he said.
Rajput’s last film was a Hindi remake of the Hollywood romance “The Fault in Our Stars”, titled “Dil Bechara” (“Poor Heart”), which was released in July.
A young Bollywood heartthrob lauded for his portrayal of cricket star M.S. Dhoni on the silver screen has died, Mumbai police said Sunday.
“Police found Sushant Singh Rajput’s body at his residence Sunday afternoon,” Mumbai police spokesman Pranaya Ashok told AFP, confirming that the 34-year-old had taken his own life.
Rajput, renowned for his numerous hits on the big and small screens, reportedly battled depression.
He passed away just a few days after the shock death of his former manager Disha Salian.
“It pains us to share that Sushant Singh Rajput is no longer with us,” Rajput’s management team said in a statement.
“We request his fans to keep him in their thoughts and celebrate his life, and his work like they have done so far.”
“I will miss him so much,” tweeted Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan alongside a selfie with Rajput. “His energy, enthusiasm and his full happy smile.”
Fellow star Akshay Kumar wrote on Twitter that he was “shocked and speechless”.
“Such a talented actor… may God give strength to his family.”
Bollywood is still struggling to come to terms with the loss of two luminaries, Irrfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor, in April.
In early June, Wajid Khan, one of the top composers of Bollywood dance songs, died at the age of 42 after contracting coronavirus, according to media reports.
Celebrated filmmaker Basu Chatterjee passed away just a week ago. He was 90.
Born in Patna in the eastern state of Bihar, Rajput quit his studies in engineering to pursue a career in acting and dance.
He got his big break in Bollywood in 2013 with “Kai Po Che”, a film about cricket, love and politics that won acclaim at the Berlin film festival.
His most recent films were comedy-drama “Chhichhore” and action movie “Drive”, both released last year.
Rajput in 2016 told AFP of the emotional rollercoaster he went through filming the biopic of Indian cricket hero Dhoni, “M S Dhoni: The Untold Story”, which included retelling the death of the ex-skipper’s former girlfriend.
“It was very difficult because, after we did the preparation, in my head I was him and everything that was happening was actually affecting me,” he said.
Actor Kristofer Hivju and his wife, Gry Molvær Hivju, have “fully recovered”, over a month after testing positive for COVID-19.
The Norwegian star, best known for his role as Tormund on Game of Thrones, first shared his diagnosis on March 16.
“We are fully recovered and in good health, after I was infected by the coronavirus, and most likely my wife @grymolvaerhivju,” Hivju wrote on Instagram alongside a selfie of the couple looking healthy as they pose together outside.
“After several weeks in quarantine, and also a couple more indoors after being free of all symptoms, we are finally safe and sound,” the 41-year-old actor continued.
“We were lucky to only have mild symptoms of the COVID-19. We send our love and thoughts to all of the people where the virus has hit much harder, and to everyone who has lost their loved ones due to the coronavirus. Thank you for all of your support, and please remember to stay vigilant and keep your distance, wash your hands, and most of all; take care of each other in this strange time. Lots of love from us.”
The Instagram post is the first since Hivju put the news out that he tested positive for the coronavirus.
“My family and I are self-isolating at home for as long as it takes. We are in good health — I only have mild symptoms of a cold,” he wrote at the time, urging fans to practice social distancing and go into quarantine to help stop the spread of the outbreak.
“Together we can fight this virus and avert a crisis at our hospitals,” the Game of Thrones star continued. “Please take care of each other, keep your distance, and stay healthy! Please visit your country’s Center for Disease Control’s website, and follow the regulations for staying safe and protecting not just yourselves, but our entire community, and especially those at risk like the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions.”
After six seasons on GoT, the actor appeared in the 2020 film, Downhill, with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell. He also joined season two of the Netflix fantasy series, The Witcher, starring Henry Cavill. Production on the series was forced to shut down due to the pandemic.
Hivju’s recovery comes after those Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson.
Kevin Spacey may avoid trial for sexual assault, as the case against him suffered a serious blow Monday when his accuser declined to testify due to fear of self-incrimination.
William Little accused the actor of groping him in a Massachusetts bar in July 2016. The actor, 59, was charged in January with indecent assault and battery.
The Massachusetts District Court judge for Nantucket, the posh island community where the alleged aggression took place, called on Little Monday to testify. Spacey was not present in the court.
But Little chose to plead the Fifth Amendment, which allows citizens not to testify so as not to incriminate themselves after it was revealed his cell phone — a key piece of evidence in the case — may have been compromised.
Little has said he took a smartphone video of the incident, which he says took place when he was an 18-year-old busboy in a Nantucket bar and restaurant.
The smartphone images, which Little said he shared with a then-girlfriend and a group of friends, allegedly show Spacey shoving his hand into the teen’s pants and fondling him.
But the phone — which the defense wanted to examine – has disappeared, as confirmed by Little and his parents, who were also called upon to testify Monday.
A police officer said he returned the phone to the family after extracting all the information but admitted he neglected to ask for a receipt upon return. The family said they never received the phone.
Interrogated at length about what he did with the phone and the messages on it, Little insisted that he had not deleted anything.
But when warned that manipulating the information on the phone could result in charges being brought against him, Little pled the fifth.
Little’s mother Heather Unruh, a television news anchor known in the Boston area, admitted she had deleted some potentially embarrassing photos before giving the phone to the police but said she had not erased anything related to the alleged assault.
Spacey’s lawyer Alan Jackson insinuated that text messages from Little — who was a fan of the actor — that implied his consent in the situation had been deleted.
“This entire case is completely compromised,” said Jackson.
“This case needs to be dismissed and it needs to be dismissed today.”
Although the judge did not make a decision, Spacey’s defense team added it would promptly request that the case be dropped.
The prosecution did not rule dropping the case, but asked the judge for a week to decide.
Spacey has insisted on his innocence in the matter. The charges carry a penalty of up to five years in prison.
The allegation of sexual misconduct against the two-time Oscar winner was one of more than a dozen to emerge since 2017 in the wake of the #MeToo movement – in both the United States and Britain — with devastating effect on his acting career.
He was dropped from the cast of the popular “House of Cards” series and from a leading role in director Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World,” Christopher Plummer was brought in as a last-second replacement.
Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor who gave masterful performances as Adolf Hitler in “Downfall” and an angel seeking mortality in divided Berlin, died Saturday aged 77, his agent said.
Ganz, who was suffering from cancer, died “in the early hours of the morning” at his home in Zurich, the agent said.
Considered one of the greatest German-speaking actors in the post-World War II era, Ganz had a distinguished career on screen and stage before his 2004 appearance in “Downfall”, which unfolds over the final, suffocating days inside Hitler’s underground bunker.
For many critics, his nuanced portrayal of the fascist tyrant that veers between explosive and sombre was unparallelled.
Hitler is a figure that German-speaking actors have historically been reluctant to take on and the Zurich-born Ganz conceded that being Swiss provided a necessary buffer.
Ganz won acclaim, and some criticism, for a performance shaped by historical records that showed a complex Hitler — at once unhinged and quivering as he berated his defeated generals, but who later displayed tenderness towards a frightened aide.
Ganz told The Arts Desk that he was amused by those who chastised him for “humanising” the Nazi leader instead of portraying a caricature of evil.
People “need an intact icon of the evil itself”, he said. “I don’t know what evil itself is.”
When asked if he approached the part with the mindset that Hitler was, in the end, a human being, Ganz said: “Of course he is. What else should he be?”
Before the Oscar-nominated “Downfall”, which vaulted Ganz into new levels of global fame, he had already been acknowledged as one of the most important German-language actors.
In 1996 he was given the Iffland-Ring, a jewel officially owned by the Austrian state but held successively by the most significant performer in German theatre of the time.
His fame was based on theatrical performances such as a landmark starring role in Goethe’s “Faust”.
He played the part in a 21-hour production mounted by director Peter Stein that ran at the beginning of the century.
On screen, his most prominent role before “Downfall” was in “Wings of Desire”(1987), in which he starred as the angel Damiel who eavesdrops on ordinary, melancholy moments around pre-unification Berlin. The original title was “The Sky Above Berlin.”
Dieter Kosslick, director of the Berlin film festival which holds its awards night late Saturday, called Ganz “one of the greatest and most versatile actors”, who made “international film history.
Ganz also starred in American films such as “The Boys From Brazil” about Nazi war criminals starring Gregory Peck and Laurence Olivier, a remake of “The Manchurian Candidate” and “The Reader” starring Kate Winslett.
His latest films saw Ganz play Sigmund Freud in “The Tobacconist” and included a role in “The House That Jack Built” by Lars von Trier which revolves around a serial killer.
Bookseller, paramedic, forgetting Hitler
Ganz’s family, mostly blue collar workers in Zurich, were baffled by his decision to quit school and pursue acting, the German news outlet Deutsche Welle (DW) reported on the actor’s 75th birthday.
He got by as a bookseller and a paramedic before moving to Germany in the early 1960s hoping to make it as a performer, according to DW.
He worked in some of Germany’s most prestigious theatres before breakthroughs in film that culminated with his depiction of the country’s most reviled leader.
He told The Arts Desk that to distance himself from the part after a day of shooting he had to “construct a wall or iron curtain” in his mind. “I don’t want to spend my evenings at the hotel with Mr. Hitler at my side.”
He later told the Berliner Morgenpost paper that the role haunted him for years.
But it may well have carved out his permanent place in film history.
The New Yorker magazine’s film critic David Denby called the performance “a staggering revelation of craft”.
“Ganz’s work (as Hitler) is not just astounding, it is actually rather moving,” Denby wrote in 2005.
A famous Turkish actor was on Monday accused of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and inciting an armed uprising over comments made during a television programme last week, local media reported.
Metin Akpinar — who is also a well-known comedian in Turkey — was taken in by police for questioning on Monday, along with another Turkish actor, Mujdat Gezen.
“If we don’t become a (democracy)… the leader might be hung from his feet or maybe poisoned in the cellars or meet the same end as other leaders in the past,” Akpinar, 77, reportedly said on television on Friday.
An Istanbul court said the two men would be released on conditional bail after they were summoned to give statements to prosecutors. But they will have to report to a police station once a week and are banned from leaving Turkey.
Both men are suspected of “insulting the president”. Akpinar also was suspected of “inciting an armed uprising against the government”, the Istanbul public prosecutor said Monday, quoted by Hurriyet daily.
The probe is still ongoing and the men will be formally charged after an indictment is prepared by the prosecutor.
Akpinar had also claimed on opposition Halk TV that any leader who “turned to Russia except Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk) left office” through coups, referring to the founder of modern Turkey.
Turkey witnessed three military coups in 1960, 1971 and 1980. In 1997, an army-led campaign forced the government to resign and then in July 2016, there was an attempted overthrow of Erdogan blamed on a US-based Muslim preacher.
Akpinar said democracy was the “only option to save Turkey from polarisation”.
Gezen, 75, was more direct in his remarks against Erdogan on the same programme: “He tells the people ‘know your place’. Look Recep Tayyip Erdogan, you cannot test our patriotism. Know your place.”
The investigation into the men came after the president said Sunday: “They should be brought to account for this by the judiciary.”
Erdogan hit out at the “so-called artists” during a speech in Istanbul. “We cannot leave this business without giving a response, they will pay the price.”
Thousands of Turks including artists and journalists have been prosecuted in recent years over allegedly insulting Erdogan, although most have not been imprisoned.
French star Gerard Depardieu “absolutely denies any attack, any rape”, his lawyer Herve Termime said on Thursday after a judicial source told AFP he was facing a probe over alleged “rapes and sexual assaults”.
The source said the Paris public prosecutor’s office had opened a preliminary inquiry into allegations against Depardieu following a complaint lodged on Monday in southern Aix-en-Provence.
“I regret the public nature of this process which poses a major prejudice to Gerard Depardieu, whose innocence I am convinced will be recognised,” his lawyer Herve Termime added, calling for restraint on all sides.
Depardieu, 69, is France’s biggest international star and has made more than 180 films.
A controversial and larger-than-life character, he became the very face of French cinema due to roles in films such as such as “Cyrano de Bergerac” for which won best actor at the Cannes film festival and was nominated for an Oscar.
He made his name in the 1974 film “Going Places” after which he enjoyed a meteoric rise, demonstrating talent and allure in wide-ranging roles in classics, dramas and comedies alike.
In 2013 Depardieu sparked a huge outcry by leaving France and taking Russian nationality in protest at a proposed tax hike on the rich in his homeland.
Russian President Vladimir Putin treated him to a dinner to present him with his new citizenship and Depardieu was subsequently full of praise in an interview to Komsomolskaya Pravda daily.
The legendary Robert Redford — who has said he intends to retire from acting — has done it all: from romantic leads to Westerns to playing the Great Gatsby.
The 81-year-old heartthrob may yet continue his impressive career behind the camera but his days in front of it appear to be over.
From Barbra Streisand’s lover in “The Way We Were” to a renegade cowboy in “The Electric Horseman” to a 70-something voyager adrift at sea in “All is Lost,” Redford has had dozens of memorable turns.
Here is a look at the classic performances that made Redford an American classic:
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
“Don’t tell me how to rob a bank. I know how to rob a bank!”
Redford uttered that key phrase as the Sundance Kid to Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy — the pair played affable outlaws in perhaps the granddaddy of all buddy films.
Tracked by a posse, the handsome, quick-witted and quick-drawing leaders of the Hole-in-the-Wall gang split to Bolivia, where their illicit antics ultimately prove their demise.
The glib humour did not sit well with critics, but the hippy Western was a huge hit with moviegoers and it made Redford a bankable star.
The Sting (1973)
Redford and Newman reunite, this time as con artists in 1930s Chicago where they seek revenge on a big-league mobster by setting up an ambitious scam.
Redford plays a charming but novice grifter in a blockbuster film.
His memorable performance as Johnny Hooker is optimistic and believable as he tries to pull off the big con, and it led to the only best actor Oscar nomination of his career. He lost to Jack Lemmon, but the crime caper won seven other Academy Awards, including best picture.
The Great Gatsby (1974)
This Francis Ford Coppola adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterful 1925 novel was intended to cement Redford’s role as a leading man in Hollywood romantic dramas. The film earned mixed reviews though it was a financial success.
He played the mysterious and decadent Jay Gatsby opposite Mia Farrow’s Daisy Buchanan. The sparks between the two were muted at best, and Redford caught flak for being too dull in a role critics said he should have nailed.
The film nevertheless won two Oscars for costume design and best original score.
All the President’s Men (1976)
Redford bounced back in full force in a stunning portrayal of a presidency in turmoil.
He took on the role of Bob Woodward and Dustin Hoffman played Carl Bernstein in the adaptation of the Washington Post journalists’ book about how the pair uncovered Watergate, which proved to be the biggest political scandal of the 20th Century.
Many critics point to this classic as one of Redford’s most important roles. It was not his first foray into politics though.
His satirical turn as a hapless US Senate hopeful in “The Candidate” in 1972 raised eyebrows, and Redford had contemplated a run for Senate in the 1970s.
The Natural (1984)
Redford emerged as a sporting star in this classic hero’s story about a rising baseball phenomenon whose lifelong love of the game helps him overcome tragedy and mount a spectacular comeback.
The big-budget spectacle is overindulgent at times, but Redford shines in his scenes in the ballpark.
And while the feel-good Hollywood ending — a Redford home run to win the pennant gives the actor almost mythic status — is the stuff of dreams, author Bernard Malamud’s novel that is the movie’s source material has a far darker ending: the slugger strikes out.
Out of Africa (1985)
Redford portrays untamable and aloof hunter/adventurer Denys Finch Hatton, who engages in a steamy, ill-fated affair with plantation-owning baroness Karen Blixen (Meryl Streep).
The film, which draws from the writings of Denmark’s Isak Dinesen, was a sweeping cinematic spectacle, scooping up seven Oscars including best picture.
Redford and Streep play headstrong, independent spirits contending with a changing Africa and Blixen’s dissolving personal life.
When Streep’s character asks Redford what is wrong with marriage, his answer is devastating: “Have you ever seen one you admire?”
Robert Redford, the screen legend and Oscar winner, has announced that he’s retiring from acting at the grand old age of 81, with the upcoming movie “The Old Man & The Gun” his last gig in front of the camera.
The actor, director and founder of the Sundance Institute and its film festival began his career on stage 60 years ago, before moving into TV and film, and eventually into directing.
“Never say never, but I pretty well concluded that this would be it for me in terms of acting,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “(I’ll) move towards retirement after this ’cause I’ve been doing it since I was 21,” he said.
“I thought, well, that’s enough. And why not go out with something that’s very upbeat and positive?”
His publicist Cindi Berger confirmed the article was accurate.
When asked if his prospective retirement would extend to directing, Redford was tight-lipped and his agent did not elaborate.
“We’ll see about that,” Redford told Entertainment Weekly.
In “The Old Man & The Gun,” directed by David Lowery, the California native plays Forrest Tucker, the real-life career criminal whose bank-robbing spree and multiple escapes from prison lasted more than 60 years.
“To me, that was a wonderful character to play at this point in my life,” Redford told Entertainment Weekly.
The film, set for release in the United States on September 28, also stars Oscar winners Sissy Spacek and Casey Affleck.
Lowery told Empire magazine that he felt the “weight” of directing Redford in his final screen role.
“He mentioned that right before we started production,” Lowery told Empire.
“I think the movie is as much about (Redford) as it is about this character. It’s about someone in the twilight of their life, doing something they love,” he added.
“There’s an inevitability to the character that is impossible to separate from Mr Redford himself, and an inherently bittersweet quality.”
He was born Charles Robert Redford, Jr. on August 18, 1936, in Santa Monica, California, the son of an accountant. His mother died in 1955, a year after he finished high school.
He went to the University of Colorado, but dropped out a year later and subsequently moved to Europe to study art in Paris and in Italy, a formative experience that transformed his political and social awareness.
After returning to the United States, he moved to New York, where he enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Art and made his debut as a stage actor.
After a variety of television roles, he moved on to the silver screen, where he found success with romantic comedy “Barefoot In The Park” opposite Jane Fonda, before his major breakthrough in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” in 1969, when he was 33.
Subsequent hits as an actor came in “The Sting” (1973) which won him an Oscar nomination; “The Great Gatsby” the following year; “Three Days of the Condor” (1975); and the critically acclaimed “All the President’s Men” (1976) — his sun-kissed all-American good looks making him a household name.
Other majoring acting credits for the man with the sun-kissed, all-American good looks were baseball classic “The Natural” and epic romance “Out of Africa” (1985) alongside Meryl Streep.
In 1981, he won an Academy Award for his directorial debut on “Ordinary People” and has a string of other directing credits, including “A River Runs Through It,” in which he starred alongside a young Brad Pitt, and “Quiz Show.”
Also in 1981, he founded the Sundance Institute in Utah for aspiring filmmakers, disaffected with Hollywood’s commercialism and lack of diversity.
The annual Sundance film festival is one of the most influential in the world and has fostered more than a generation of independent directors.
Despite his fame, Redford has led a largely private life and steers clear of many award shows and public film festivals. A passionate conservationist and environmentalist, he has often spoken up for social responsibility.
In 2002, he won an honorary Oscar as an actor, director, producer and creator of Sundance. To date, he has also won six Golden Globes and one BAFTA.
In 2016, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian award, by Barack Obama.
He married his first wife, Lola Van Wagenen, in 1958. They had four children, one of whom died as an infant. They divorced in 1985 and he married second wife, German artist and long-term girlfriend Sibylle Szaggars in 2009.