Actress received Mini Cooper, designer bags and outfits from conman

To win the confidence of Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez, multi-millionaire conman Sukesh Chandrasekhar called her and made her believe that he was speaking from Indian Home Minister Amit Shah's office, reveals the Enforcement Directorate (ED) charge sheet against him in a Rs200 crore ($36 million) cheating case.

This call was made by Sukesh to Shan Muthathil, the actress' make-up artiste. Jacqueline, who was initially avoiding Sukesh, started talking to him after he made the "high-profile call".

Sukesh also gave the actress a lot of luxury gifts, including Gucci outfits, gymwear, shoes, a Rolex watch, 15 pairs of earrings, five Birkin bags, Hermes bangles and Louis Vuitton bags. He also gave her a Mini Cooper, which she returned at a later date.

The ED filed the charge sheet against Sukesh at the Patiala House Court in New Delhi for allegedly duping Ms Aditi Singh, the wife of former Ranbaxy promoter Shivinder Singh, of Rs200 crore.

It claimed in the charge sheet that Sukesh gave expensive gifts to Jacqueline and actress Norah Fatehi which were part of the proceeds of the crime. According to the charge sheet, Sukesh also gifted a BMW car to Geraldine Fernandez, Jacqueline's sister who is living in the United States.

He also gave around US$180,000 and a Porsche to Jacqueline's mother.

However, the actress told ED officials that her sister took a loan of US$150,000 from Sukesh. She also admitted that he transferred around Rs1.5 million to the account of her brother in Australia.

"I have been speaking to Sukesh since February 2017. In August 2021, he was arrested, after which I never met him," Jacqueline said in a statement. "He told me that he is the owner of Sun TV and from the political family of Jayalalithaa (former Tamil Nadu chief minister)."

The charge sheet revealed that Pinky Irani, a Sukesh aide who was arrested recently, introduced the conman to Jacqueline. It was Pinky who selected the luxury gifts and delivered them to the actress.

According to the charge sheet, Sukesh was in touch with Jacqueline till his arrest and had "provided various gifts to her and her family members, arranged chartered flights for her to fly within India and her hotel stay, made payments in cash to a script writer on (her) behalf… All these expenses/payments were made by Sukesh Chandrashekhar out of proceeds of crime acquired through criminal activities related to a scheduled offence".

The ED further stated that Sukesh gifted a BMW to Fatehi in December last year. Sukesh's wife Leena Maria Paul claimed she and her husband were fans of Fatehi and "gifted her a brand-new BMW car as a token of love and generosity".

Jacqueline failed to appear for a concert in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, last Friday which involved Bollywood superstar Salman Khan and actress Shilpa Shetty, wife of businessmen Raj Kundra, who is mired in a porn case.

Bollywood Hungama reported that Jacqueline has apparently fallen out of favour with Salman, who is her benefactor. Jacqueline had stayed at Salman's farmhouse for more than three months after the Covid-19 lockdown in India. The entertainment website said she had been hoping for support from her mentor in the current crisis. But Salman has decided to keep a distance from her.

Indo-Asian News Service

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