Bollywood was rocked with shocking news as Jiah Khan, one of the beauties in the industry, was found dead of an apparent suicide Monday night, June 3. She was found by her mother hanging with a long scarf known as dupatta from a ceiling fan.
According post mortem examinations, Jiah committed suicide between 11 and 11:30 P.M. She reportedly did it after making a phone call to her rumored boyfriend, Suraj Pancholi, the son of Bollywood acting royalty Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab.
Jiah lived with her mother and sister at an apartment in Sagar Sangeet building in Juhu, Mumbai. She reportedly had attempted suicide around eight months ago by slitting her wrist, but she was saved. The ill-fated incident on Monday happened when nobody was around.
According to initial report by cops, there were no signs of forced break-in. "There are no signs of forced entry into the apartment and no valuables are missing. Her room, where she committed suicide, was also in order. Murder, prima facie, has been ruled out," police explained.
The 25-year-old actress did not leave any suicide note. Police called Suraj for questioning after finding he was the last person she contacted before she took her own life. In text messages, she accused him of cheating on her but he insisted he didn't and said she had misunderstood things.
Jiah's mother Razia Khan told cops that her daughter had gone to a movie audition the day before and it did not end well. The casting agents allegedly told the actress to lose weight. "She auditioned for a Telugu movie on June 2 but did not land the role. This could have depressed her more," a cop said.
Born Nafisa Khan in New York, Jiah studied at the Lee Strasberg Film and Theater Institute. She later resided in Mumbai to pursue acting career in India and introduced herself as Jiah in a phoenetic homage to Gia Carangi, the late supermodel portrayed by Angelina Jolie in an Emmy-winning role in the 1998 HBO biopic "Gia".
Jiah made her debut in 2007 in Ram Gopal Varma's "Nishabd" which was loosely based on Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita". She played a teenager who fell in love with her best friend's father portrayed by famed Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan. She landed supporting roles in 2008's psychological thriller "Ghajini" and 2010's comedy "Housefull". She had no film ever since.
Upon hearing of her death, Varma took to Twitter to express his feelings in a series of messages, "Shocked and choked to hear about Jiah. So young and so pretty. Just cant believe that someone as young nd so full of life is just dead. The whole unit of Nishabd was literally in love with Jiah."
"Never ever seen a debutant actress with more spunk and more spirit than Jiah when i was directing her in Nishabd," he added. "The last time I met her jiah told me that everyone around her makes her feel like a failure. I dont know the reason what led to this but jiah was very depressed about her career and scared for her future."
Riteish Deshmukh, Jiah's "Housefull" co-star, tweeted, "RIP Jiah. She was full of life and had incredible sense of humor. She was a friend n will miss her. Am deeply saddened." Fellow actress Dia Mirza wrote, "RIP Nafisa (Jiah) Khan. You were too young and beautiful."