Bollywood Actor Suniel Shetty
Bollywood Actor Suniel ShettyReuters

Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty has come out in support of budding actor Sooraj Pancholi, who is presently remanded to judicial custody in connection with his girlfriend Jiah Khan's suicide.

Suniel Shetty's daughter Athiya, who is set to be launched opposite Sooraj Pancholi has stood up for the youngster in the trying times. Salman Khan is expected to give the starlets a break with 'Hero', a remake of Shubhash Ghai's 1983 musical blockbuster.

When asked if he would reconsider Athiya's Bollywood debut with Sooraj, Suniel Shetty told DNA, "I never said that! I don't, for a moment, regret the decision to launch my daughter with Sooraj. Why should I? He is as much my child as Aathiya."

"This (the crisis post Jiah Khan's suicide) can happen to anyone. God forbid any parent should go through what Aditya and Zarina are going through right now. And I can't even begin to imagine Jiah's mother's grief. Even if my daughter gets a scratch I am inconsolable. To lose one's child is beyond any comprehension," he added.

"They had a relationship. Whatever happened between them is known only to them. No second person can take responsibility for an individual's death. I've met Suraj. He's sweet, soft spoken boy. I don't see him harming anyone, least of all someone he loved," defended the veteran actor.

The protective father sounded quite geared up while speaking of Salman Khan's godfather act for Athiya.

"I've full faith in the project. In any case it is entirely Salman Khan's baby. He has taken over the project completely. I've taken the backseat as far as Aaithiya's launch is concerned. We're letting Salman take all the decisions on behalf  of Aathiya and Suraj," the actor told DNA

"We start shooting for 'Hero' with my daughter and Suraj in September-October. One thing is for sure. All this controversy makes no difference to the project. Salman knows what he is doing. And I've full faith in Salman, the project and in Suraj."

Salman Khan had first noticed Sooraj Pancholi while he was working as an Assistant Director in 'Ek Tha Tiger'.