Sushant Singh Rajput’s brother-in-law has slammed a therapist who claimed to be treating the late actor before his death. In a media interview, Susan Walker revealed details about Rajput’s condition, alleging that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression.
In an interview with journalist Barkha Dutt on August 1, Walker claimed Rajput was suffering with a mental disorder and she had met the late actor and his actress-girlfriend, Rhea Chakraborty, on several occasions to treat him. Walker further added that she was speaking up now to remove the stigma and misinformation surrounding the investigation into his death.
Walker alleged: “In light of the misinformation and conspiracy theories currently raging on social media about Sushant Singh Rajput and Rhea Chakraborty, I have decided it is my duty to make a statement. In my capacity as a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, I met Sushant and Rhea on several occasions in November and December 2019 and communicated again with Rhea in June of this year.”
She further added: “Sushant was suffering from bipolar disorder, a severe mental illness that can be crippling for an individual during an episode. The symptoms of which can include severe anxiety, major depression and sometimes disordered thinking and paranoia. The continuing, appalling stigma around mental illness makes it very difficult for patients and their families to reach out. This has to stop. Mental illness is no different than cancer or diabetes. It can affect anyone, regardless of class, financial status and so on. In a way that cancer can.”
While many questioned the therapist’s motives on social media, accusing her for breaking client confidentiality, Rajput’s brother-in-law Vishal Kirti, who writes an education blog, slammed the entire incident in a post where he stated: “… Mental health information is protected by the law of the land. Disclosing mental health information by a psychotherapist/psychologist is not only unethical but also illegal (except for certain circumstances which don’t apply here). I leave it to my father-in-law to press charges on this matter.”
Vishal Kirti, who is married to Rajput’s sister Shweta Singh Kirti, further stated that he was not speaking on behalf of his father-in-law, KK Singh, and questioned Walker’s claims and diagnosis.
“Diagnosing mental disorders is an arduous task and diagnosing someone Bipolar (I or II) is even more so. Not only do you have to observe the person very closely, but you also have to observe them over long periods of time (it takes six years on average to diagnose after the onset of symptoms). Susan very conveniently diagnoses Sushant in less than two months (perhaps over a couple of appointments), with a life-changing diagnosis. And then she has the audacity to disclose this information in the public domain,” he wrote on his blog.
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Continuing, Vishal Kirti added: “If we are to believe Susan, another thing which does become clear is that it was Rhea indeed who was seeking treatment for Sushant and not Sushant himself. Prior to October/November 2019 (and certainly prior to meeting Rhea), as far as I know, no one who has lived with Sushant has ever complained about his mental health, nor has Sushant himself.”
Investigating the death
Rajput’s father KK Singh lodged an First Information Report or FIR against Chakraborty in Patna, Bihar a few days ago, stating that she allegedly blackmailed his son and transferred funds from Rajput’s account. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a case of money laundering over transactions worth Rs150 million related to the suicide of Rajput under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.
In her interview, Walker also defended Chakraborty, calling her the late actor’s “strongest support” system.
“Sushant was suffering terribly during his bouts of depression and hypomania. Rhea was his strongest support. From the first time I met them as a couple, I was impressed by the degree of concern, love and support she showed. It was very evident how close they were. Rhea took care of his appointments and gave him enough courage to attend, despite his being so fearful that someone would find out,” Walker was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Rajput’s sister Shweta Singh shared her husband’s blog post on her Twitter handle, while penning an open letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi a day earlier in a bid to seek justice in her brother’s death.
Rajput was found dead in his Mumbai residence on June 14, with Mumbai Police ruling out foul play in his demise. Fans and family are seeking further investigations into the suicide ruling, with 41 people already giving statements in the case.
The death has also sparked a debate on nepotism in Bollywood, with Kangana Ranaut alleging that Rajput was robbed of lucrative film offers because he was an 'outsider' in the industry.