Chahatt Khanna finally opens up on his relationship with alleged conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar; says he proposed to her in Tihar jail
The investigation into alleged conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar’s case has brought a number of showbiz names to the surface including actresses Jacqueline Fernandez and Nora Fatehi. The names also include Chahatt Khanna, Nikki Tamboli, Sophia Singh, and Arusha Patil.
Chahatt, who recently recorded her statement before Delhi’s Patiala House Court, shared in a recent interview that she got tricked into visiting Sukesh in jail. Chahatt said that in May 2018 she got a call to attend a school event in Delhi as a judge. “I traveled to Delhi on May 18, 2018. At Mumbai airport, I met a woman named Angel Khan, who said she would accompany me to the event. When we landed in Delhi, we took a car to go to school. But after a while, we suddenly stopped and she said that we would have to change cars, as this one would not be allowed inside the school premises. We then moved to a grey Innova and within a few seconds, I realized we were outside the Tihar jail. When I asked her about this, she said we had to enter the school via the jail premises.”
After realizing that she was in Tihar, Chahat started yelling and asked for the car to be stopped, but the woman kept pacifying her, and before she knew it, they were inside Tihar jail.
“I knew I was trapped and started panicking, thinking about my two kids, who were in Mumbai with my parents. Once we got off the car, we were taken to a room. I remember the room was full of laptops, watches, and expensive luxury items. Aur duniya bhar ke branded bags thay… itne thay ki koi ek gir jaata toh sab gir jaate. There was a sofa, a portable AC, one chair, fridge, chhote se room mein sab kuch bhara hua tha,” she recalls.
She added, “He was dressed in a fancy shirt, had sprayed on a lot of perfume, and was wearing a gold chain. He introduced himself as the owner of a popular south Indian TV channel and the nephew of J Jayalalithaa. He said he had been arrested in an EVM-tampering case during elections but was being given VIP treatment in jail. He said he was a fan of mine and had watched my TV show, Bade Acche Lagte Hain, and wanted to meet me. I was frantic and told him, ‘Why would you call me here? I have left my six-month-old baby at home and have come here thinking it’s an event.’ Then, before I knew it, he went down on one knee and said he wanted to marry me. I shouted at him, saying, ‘I am married and I have two kids.’ But he said my husband was not the right man for me and that he would be a father to my kids. I got so anxious that I started crying.”
According to Chahat she stayed in the jail for around 20 mins during which Angel was sitting on Sukes’s lap. Angel also gave 2 lakh rupees to Chahat and said that it was a shagun. “We went straight to the airport, and on the way, Angel gave me around `2 lakh, referring to it as ‘shagun’ and telling me that he really liked me. I kept quiet because I wanted to get back home. At the airport, she also took off a Versace watch that she was wearing and gave it to me, calling it a ‘friendship gift’ from her. We had to spend the night at the airport because the flight was very delayed. It took off around 7 am,” she said.
Soon after returning to Mumbai, Chahatt claims that she started getting blackmailed by two unknown people. “These two men stopped my sister-in-law on the road and told her that they had footage of me inside Tihar jail, which they would give to a TV channel if we didn’t pay them `10 lakh. I started getting calls from an unknown number when I was at my parents’ residence in Virar. The caller said he had got the footage from government officials and would give it to a TV channel. I was certain Angel was behind this and called her, but she soon blocked me. I agreed to give them `3 lakh, for which I borrowed `1 lakh from my father. They asked me to leave the money at a spot in Virar, which I did. Till today, I don’t know who the guys were.”
According to Chahat, the series of events took a toll on her marriage, “I was helpless. I didn’t want anyone to know that I was in Tihar jail. I was also worried about it affecting my marriage, so I agreed to give them the money. Among other things, it did take a toll on my marriage, and my husband and I separated. Maybe I should have approached the police and lodged a complaint. But things kept happening one after the other and I just wanted to get out of it.”
Chahatt further shared that Sukesh called her two or three times from jail. “He would call me from international numbers and claim that he could call me from any number – including my husband’s! These calls lasted for a minute or so and he would inquire about my kids and ask if I needed anything. I would say, ‘Thank you so much, but I don’t need anything.’ The last time he called was in December 2018, when I told him, ‘Don’t call me; I don’t appreciate this. We’ll talk when you come out of jail.’ We never exchanged messages. A year after the ransom incident, the woman I knew as Angel unblocked me and messaged me. She said she wanted to work together, but I stayed away from her. She would message a lot, but I would barely reply.”
Chahatt said it was only one-and-a-half years ago, when her name came up in the case and she realized the man she had met in Tihar jail was Sukesh Chandrashekhar and the woman who called herself Angel was his aide, Pinky Irani. “I have given these details to the officials of Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing and Enforcement Directorate and also to Patiala House Court. I am sure officials have gone through my phone details and verified everything.”
Talking about Chandrashekhar’s claim that his association with Chahatt and Nikki Tamboli was professional and they were supposed to act in his film, Chahatt said, “Let him show the messages. I don’t know what professional deal he is talking about. Who does casting for a film sitting in jail? Actresses itni desperate nahin hain ki hum jail ke andar jayenge producer se milne. No actress will entertain something like this.”