Actor Akshay Kumar filed a Rs 500-crore-defamation suit on Bihar-based YouTuber Rashid Siddiquee for allegedly linking his name with the death of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput, on Tuesday.
Kumar sent the notice to Siddiquee, a civil engineer who runs the YouTube channel FF News, through the legal firm IC Legal. Kumar has alleged that Siddiquee had uploaded defamatory and derogatory content against him.
Seeking an unconditional apology from Siddiquee, the actor demanded the removal of content that defamed him from the channel.
According to Kumar, Siddiquee had made several videos based on false allegations claiming that Kumar had helped actor and Rajput’s partner Rhea Chakraborty escape to Canada. Siddique said Kumar held meetings with Aaditya Thackeray, the son of Maharashtra Chief Minster Uddhav Thackeray and an MLA, and the Mumbai police commissioner regarding Rajput’s death.
Quoting PTI, a report in Livemint said that Kumar has suffered “mental trauma” and “agony” because of the videos. “Our client (Kumar) states that because of your (Siddiquee’s) scandalous, defamatory and derogatory videos, he has suffered mental trauma agony and huge loss, including loss of reputation and goodwill, which our client quantifies at Rs 500 crore,” the notice from Kumar said.
“These videos are false, baseless, defamatory and have been intentionally published to mislead the public and is just a cheap publicity stunt, the law firm said in the notice,” the notice said.
Kumar will take legal action if Siddiquee doesn’t respond within three days, the notice said.
Reacting to the notice, Siddiquee’s lawyer Rohit Dhuria told Silverscreen India: “In our country, freedom of speech and expression must not be suppressed. Akshay Kumar projects himself as a big hearted person, he shouldn’t ignore such things. Many YouTubers and online portals made similar videos and news. Will he file a case against all those?”
As per a Mumbai Mirror report, the YouTuber had earned around Rs 15 lakh over four months and his subscribers had risen to three lakh, from two lakh. He was earlier was arrested by the Mumbai Police for allegedly spreading fake news around Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aaditya Thackeray in relation to the death of Rajput.
Rajput was found dead in his home in Mumbai on June 14. Chakraborty was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau in a drug case in relation to Rajput’s death, and was later granted bail. Chakraborty and a few others are also facing charges of criminal conspiracy and abetment to suicide, which are being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation.