Mumbai: Bollywood actress Nafisa, aka Jiah Khan, who was seen opposite Amitabh Bachchan in “Nishabd”, committed suicide at her residence in Mumbai’s Juhu area, police said Tuesday. She was 25.
The Britain-born actress was found hanging at her flat in Sagar Sangeet Building in the posh Juhu area of northwest Mumbai around midnight. The cause of the suicide is not yet clear, police said, adding that autopsy reports were awaited.
The body of the actress was taken to the Cooper Hospital in Vile Parle Monday night and later moved to J.J. Hospital in Byculla.
“The body was brought here last night. It has now been taken to the J.J. Hospital,” a source from the Cooper Hospital told IANS, but didn’t reveal why the body was moved.
Police are questioning her domestic help, security personnel and neighbours.
News of her death was first reported by actress Dia Mirza through a social networking site around 1.45am.
Khan, who was born in New York and grew up in London before moving to Mumbai, debuted in 2007 with Ram Gopal Varma’s “Nishabd” in which she played a teenager besotted with a man old enough to be her father. The movie was controversial and not very well-received at the box office, but she got a Filmfare Best Debutant nomination for the role.
Varma, who cast her in “Nishabd”, is “shocked and chocked” over the news of her death. He says she was depressed about her career, and scared about her future as she had no work the past three years.
“The last time I met her, Jiah told me that everyone around her makes her feel like a failure,” Varma posted on his Twitter page.
“Inspite of being highly appreciated in ‘Nishabd’ and being a part of hugely successful ‘Ghajini’ and ‘Housefull’, she had no work for the last three years. I don’t know the reason what led to this, but Jiah was very depressed about her career and scared for her future,” he added.
Varma said that he had “never ever seen a debutant actress with more spunk and more spirit than Jiah when I was directing her in ‘Nishabd’”.
“So young and so pretty,” recalled Varma, adding: “Just can’t believe that someone as young and so full of life is just dead. No matter what her problem was, I just so wish she applied her on screen philosophy of ‘Nishabd’ to her own life which is to ‘Take Lite’.”
In 2008, she appeared with Aamir Khan and Asin in the blockbuster “Ghajini”, a remake of A.R. Murugadoss’s Tamil film by the same title.
She was last seen in Sajid Khan’s “Housefull” with Akshay Kumar, Reiteish Deshmukh, Deepika Padukone and Lara Dutta.
She was born Nafisa Khan and changed her name to Jiah before going back to her birth name. Her mother is Rabiya Amin, an actress in the 1980s who appeared in the Tahir Hussain movie “Dulha Bikta Hai”.