Actor Shilpa Shetty told Mumbai Police on Friday that London-based Pradeep Bakshi, the brother-in-law of her husband Raj Kundra from a previous marriage, was involved with the Hotshot app and its functioning, ANI reported.
Shetty further stated that her husband is innocent and was not involved in producing the porn content. Erotica is different from pornography, she reportedly added.
The actor also told police that she was not aware of the exact content of the Hotshot app and that she has nothing to do with it.
The Mumbai Police conducted a raid at Shetty and Kundra’s residence on Friday and confiscated a hard drive and a computer.
Kundra, the owner of Viaan Industries Ltd, was arrested on Monday as the “key conspirator” in a case involving pornography. He has been accused of making pornographic videos under the pretext of producing short films for OTT platforms.
Kundra and his associate Ryan Thorpe were booked under sections 354(C) (Voyeurism), 292 (sale of obscene content), 420 (Cheating) of the IPC, and Sections 67, 67A (transmission of sexually explicit material) of the IT Act and the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act.
The arrest was made based on a case registered with the Mumbai Crime Branch in February. According to the Mumbai Police, they could not arrest Kundra earlier due to lack of evidence. The police also said in a video conference on Tuesday that so far no evidence has been found indicating that Shetty had an active role in the pornography racket.
“It was found that small artists, especially women, were lured on the pretext of providing them a break in web series. They were asked to perform ‘bold’ scenes that turned into semi-nude and nude scenes against their wishes,” said Joint Commissioner of Mumbai Police Milind Bharambe in the conference.
He added that Kundra used to send the pornographic content thus filmed to a UK production company Kenrin, which is registered there by Kundra’s brother-in-law, through WeTransfer and the same was uploaded on various apps using foreign IP addresses to evade Indian law.
On Friday, Kundra’s bail plea was rejected and he was remanded to police custody until July 27.