Actor Nora Fatehi has filed a defamation suit against Jacqueline Fernandez in court, alleging that she made defamatory accusations against her for “malicious reasons” with the intent of "destroying her career". Fatehi claims that Fernandez criminally defamed her to further her own interests as they both are working in the same industry and have similar backgrounds. This comes after they both were questioned in the Sukesh Chandrashekhar money laundering case.
Contending that Fatehi’s image is being tarnished, she stressed that an artist’s career is based on their reputation, alleging that Fernandez made remarks against her to ensure her financial, social, and personal downfall. IANS accessed a complaint where Fatehi further claimed that Fernandez has maliciously attempted to absolve herself from her actions in another criminal proceeding that is completely unrelated to her.
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Complaint by Nora Fatehi
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Nora Fatehi in a complaint through her counsel advocate Vikram Chauhan said that Fernandez had also been accused in the Sukesh Chandrashekhar ₹200 crore money laundering case by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), and the defamatory imputations made by her were due to malicious reasons.
Fatehi also claimed that Fernandez made a false statement against her despite being an actor too. “Fernandez has unnecessarily dragged and defamed me as I am in the same industry. She is fully aware that the business of any artist and their career is based on their reputation. This clearly establishes that the said imputation has been made with the intention and knowledge that it will harm the reputation of the complainant,” the plea read. It further noted that "her rapidly progressing career quite obviously has threatened her rivals who are unable to compete with her on a fair footing."
In the same plea she also accused a few media organisations for quoting Fernandez that damaged her reputation. The court has fixed December 19 as the date for the next hearing.
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The Sukesh Chandrashekhar Case
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The ED questioned Fatehi on December 2, 2022, regarding conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar’s ₹200 crore money laundering case. Both Fernandez and Fatehi recorded their statements. However, the only difference is that Fernandez was named the accused while Fatehi was merely a witness. This seems to have caused the supposed rift between the stars. Fernandez had earlier in a plea before the Appellate Authority of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) noted that it is shocking that like her some other celebrities like Fatehi were conned by Chandrashekhar, but while Fatehi and other celebrities who received gifts from Chandrashekhar are made witnesses, she is being dragged as an accused.
Earlier, the ED termed fixed deposits worth ₹7.2 crore belonging to Fernandez as proceeds of the crime received by the actor. In February, the ED filed its first supplementary prosecution complaint against Chandrashekhar’s aide Pinky Irani, who introduced him to Bollywood actresses and allegedly chose costly gifts for Fernandez, which were dropped at her house after the payments were made by Chandrashekhar. Meanwhile, Fatehi recorded a statement saying that during a charity event, she was gifted a Gucci Bag and an iPhone by Chandrashekhar's wife Leena Paulose, according to the probe agency. She further said that Paulose called her with her husband who thanked Fatehi and said they were fans. She then said that they were going to gift her a brand-new BMW car as a token of appreciation.
Chandrashekhar has allegedly spent around ₹20 crore on different celebrities and models in Bollywood. However, it is rumoured that a few refused to accept his gifts.