Actress Jiah Khan’s apparent suicide in her Juhu, Mumbai, home on Monday left millions of fans and Bollywood stunned, asking what made the young star take her own life. Depression is being offered as the likely reason as the actress was plagued by an unstable relationship and work environment.
While her mother and sister were out on a walk, Khan reportedly hanged herself at 10:55 p.m, the Daily Mail wrote. Police believe she suspected her boyfriend Sooraj Pancholi was cheating on her, and according to the British news site, Khan’s mother told police she was upset over her career and her love life, both of which were said to be shaky lately.
Khan, whose real name was Nafisa, made her last phone call to Pancholi around 10:40 p.m., the Times of India reported, mere minutes before she took her own life. He and his actor parents, Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab, were questioned at a Juhu police station for clues about Khan’s death.
A police officer explained to the Daily Mail why Khan’s career woes could have led to the 25-year-old’s death. "She was not getting many offers since she acted in 'Nishabd and Ghajini.' She played a small part in 'Housefull,' which was her last film. She auditioned for a Telugu movie on June 2 but did not land the role. This could have depressed her more.”
Image consultant Prahlad Kakkar told the site that depression often affects the women in the entertainment business more harshly. "Depression owing to failed romance or a career not going right is common among women in showbiz,” the expert said. “Nothing is ever consistent in their professional and personal lives. It creates a kind of stress that can go beyond control. Also, there is an inherent difference in the ways men and women handle failure. Men tend to look for excuses. Women blame themselves.”
The pain caused by rejection both personally and professionally, even if self-imposed, was too much for Khan to handle.