Actress Meera Chopra, who once trained with Sushant Singh Rajput in the same gym, has fond memories of the late actor and describes him as a perfect gentleman. At the same time, Meera feels bad about his girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty for the way she is being vilified by sections of media and social media even though the investigation in the case is still going on.
"I don't know Sushant on a personal note. We have had a professional relationship. We used to work out in the same gym a few years back and I started knowing him then. After that we connected on Instagram and would bump into each other at a few award shows," Meera told IANS.
"He was always very cordial. He was a perfect gentleman. Every time he saw me, he would stop, he would talk, he would ask how I was, how are things, how is work. Usually people don't do that in this industry. He was very well mannered and simple, a genuine person. Also, he was always respectful towards others," the actress added, remembering Sushant.
Meera also recalled how Sushant had texted her after her film "Section 375" released in September last year.
"He had messaged me after my film 'Section 375' released. He had praised my performance and told me that he felt bad for the girl (her character in the film) even though she was not right. Similarly, I had texted him after 'Chhichhore' released. It was a very actor-to-actor conversation between us," Meera revealed.
Going down memory lane, the actress shared: "Something I will always maintain is that I have never met anyone in the industry as simple as he was! I will say this despite the fact that I did not know Sushant at a personal level and never made an effort to do that. His simplicity, his mannerisms, his demeanour of reaching out to people in spite of the fact that he was such a successful actor -- people don't usually do that, but he always did."
"Even in the gym, if somebody was working out in a wrong way, despite the trainer being present he would personally go across and correct the person, even if he didn't know them. That was Sushant, such simplicity!" she recalled.
Sushant, who passed away on June 14 was a "role model" for many people and his untimely demise has affected even those who didn't know him personally, feels Meera.
"His death has affected people in a personal way. I have friends in London and America who didn't know him at all but they are deeply affected," the actress said, adding: "I am so affected by his demise that I still feel that he is somewhere and is not gone. It is so shocking. All the controversy theories going on -- I just hope those are not true because he didn't deserve this kind of death. He was a very pure and good soul."
Meera supports the ongoing social media movement #JusticeforSSR by Sushant's fans and wants the truth to come out. Talking about the movement, the actress said: "I really hope it goes on because if something wrong has happened, people should be punished. I hope the CBI finds out the truth."
While Meera is deeply affected by Sushant's untimely demise, the actress strongly believes that it is wrong to vilify his girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, who is being accused and blamed for the death.
When quizzed about her take on Sushant's girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty being called names like "Vishkanya" and "black magician", the actress replied: "Certain people are accused in this case and they should be interrogated with no sympathy, be it a boy or a girl. At least I don't have any sympathy for them. But then I feel calling somebody names is terrible. Somebody is calling her Vishkanya, somebody calling her jadugarni. She is an accused. I feel we should not label somebody or give our verdict at least till the time investigation is going on and she is not pronounced guilty."