She made her acting debut at the age of 16, got married at 18 and then died a shocking death a year later. Everything happened too quickly in the life of yesteryear actress Divya Bharti. In her brief film career, the Mumbai-born actress was a young heartthrob, whose fan pages have popped up on social media and are active. After her untimely death, the films she had signed went to other actresses and turned out to be successful. It is however unclear whether her fall from her fifth-floor apartment in Mumbai’s Versova on the night of April 5, 1993, was an accident, suicide or murder.
Who was Divya Bharti?
Born on February 25, 1974 to an insurance officer Om Prakash Bharti and Meeta Bharti, Divya started getting film offers when she was barely 14. It is said that director Kirti Kumar noticed her in a video library and was keen to sign her in Radha Ka Sangam opposite his brother Govinda. After having signed the film, Divya was replaced by Juhi Chawla. At the age of 16, she made her acting debut in Telugu blockbuster Bobbili Raja opposite Venkatesh. And since then never looked back. She soon made her Bollywood debut in Rajiv Rai’s hit film Vishwatma in 1992. What gained her immense popularity was the song Saat Samundar Paar, that continues to be played today at various events. Even Salman Khan paid a tribute to her by performing the song in his 2014 film Kick, directed by Sajid Nadiadwala, who was her husband at the time of her death.
Divya Bharti later acted in films like Shola Aur Shabnam, Dil Ka Kya Kasoor, Jaan Se Pyaara, Geet and others. In 1992, she shared the screen space with Rishi Kapoor and debutante Shah Rukh Khan in Deewana. The Raj Kanwar directorial turned out to be a commercial success and Divya bagged the Filmfare Lux Face of the Year award.
The ill-fated night
On the day of her death, according to renowned film critic, Khalid Mohamed, who wrote in The Quint that the actress had sustained a minor injury with her foot being bandaged and Divya had finalised a new flat in Bandra. She had returned from Chennai and was supposed to leave for another shoot the next morning. She went to the fifth-floor flat at Tulsi Apartment in Versova. Though the owner of the house is unknown, it is speculated to have been rented by her producer-husband Sajid Nadiadwala, whom she married in 1992.
Meanwhile, she had invited her friend and costume designer Neeta Lulla to her flat to finalise costumes for her next film Andolan. The latter’s husband was also present at the time of the incident. Soon, the trio sat down for a round of drinks and Divya was said to be engaged in an animated conversation with her domestic help. After a while, Divya went towards the window of her flat that did not have a grill protection. She apparently lost her balance and fell down to the parking lot below. She was alive when the ambulance arrived but succumbed to her injuries later.
In an interview to Bollywood Hungama two decades later, Divya Bharti’s parents spoke at length about their daughter.
“She did not realise the position she had attained within a short span of time. Divya was a carefree girl and today I can say that there are 99 per cent chances that she might have met with an accident. Because there is no way that she committed suicide. I don’t think she was murdered. Who would kill her?” Divya’s mother said. Watch the interview here
Watch the interview here:
Suicide, accident or murder?
There are numerous conspiracy theories surrounding Divya Bharti’s sudden death. It is believed that her relations with Sajid Nadiadwala were strained due to his alleged connections to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. Besides this, her addiction to alcohol was known to everyone. Last year, the later actress’s mother told Filmfare that Divya had burnt herself with cigarette stubs after being upset over an issue. In 1998, the investigation into her death was concluded and her fall from the balcony was termed as ‘accidental death’.
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