Producer Boney Kapoor recently opened up about the tragic demise of his wife, late actor Srivedi, over five years ago. Srivedi, a legend of Indian cinema, passed away in her hotel room in Dubai in 2018 while attending a nephew’s wedding. The cause of her death was declared to be ‘accidental drowning’ in a bathtub following a loss of consciousness. Traces of alcohol were found in her blood sample, according to an autopsy report released then by the Dubai Police.
Boney, who had previously maintained a public silence about the incident, revisited it in a recent podcast on The New Indian.
He revealed that Sridevi followed an exacting diet avoiding salt, which led to blackouts.
He also recalled being interrogated by the Dubai Police after Srivedi’s death due to ‘pressure’ from the Indian media.
“First of all, it was not a natural death, it was an accidental death,” Boney Kapoor was quoted as saying by The New Indian.
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“I decided not to speak about it because I had already spoken about it for over 24 to 48 hours when I was being interrogated and investigated. Dubai Police told me that we had to go through because there was pressure from Indian media. I said, well, I have nothing more to say than what I already have been saying.
They also discovered that there was no foul play and I went through all the intense interrogation there where they put me through a lie detector and all those things. The post-mortem report said that it was an accidental death by drowning.”
He spoke about Srivedi following a rigorous diet plan to get in shape for her movies.
“She wanted to look good because when you are on screen, you look much broader and she wanted to make sure that she is chiselled and in good shape to maintain good looks on screen. It was not just for the film that she was doing then. She had come down to 46-47 kgs. You would notice it in the film ‘English Vinglish’.”
He continued, “Before this incident, she had had a blackout on a number of occasions and doctors kept telling her, ‘You have low BP (blood pressure) so do not follow a severe diet and don’t avoid salt.’ Most women believe salt increases water retention that’s why you feel puffy. That was one reason. I would also tell her not to completely avoid salt. I would also ask her to include a pinch of salt when having salad.”
After her passing, Telugu actor Nagarjuna recounted to Boney that Srivedi was on a crash (or very-low-calorie) diet while shooting a film with him.
“After her unfortunate demise, Nagarjuna came to our home to offer his condolences and he told me that she was on a crash diet when she was doing a movie with him. He recollected that she fell in the bathroom and broke her teeth, and had those artificial caps,” Boney revealed.
He noted that Srivedi exercised similar stringency on a previous film.
“Even during one of Pankaj Parashar’s film which was never completed, she had a similar problem. I was not aware of what Nagarjuna told me. But I was aware of Pankaj Parashar’s situation. It was not something I would ask Sri. But I knew that she had this tendency of going on a strict diet where she gave up salt,” Boney told The New Indian.
“I used to push our doctor and then I used to push her myself (against completely stopping salt consumption) during dinner with quips like “soup with no salt,” and “food with no salt.” Unfortunately, she didn’t take this seriously and we also thought it can’t be this serious till the incident happened.”