Police seized 48 terabytes of adult images and videos in a raid on the home of Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty as part of an investigation into her husband’s alleged connections to illegal pornography films.
Agents are now trying to clone Ms. Shetty’s phone and can also bring her in for a second round of interrogation.
Husband Raj Kundra, 45, was arrested in Mumbai on July 19 by police, who said he had “sufficient evidence” that he is a “key conspirator” in a porn production ring.
Kundra attended the search with officers on Friday and was later extended by police until July 27.
Shetty told police during questioning on Friday that she believed Kundra was innocent and claimed that his co-defendant Pradeep Bakshi was the one involved in the ‘Hotshots’ mobile app, which allegedly streamed pornographic content.
She said she was “not aware of the exact nature of the content” on the app, but described it as “erotica” rather than pornography.
Police seized 48 terabytes of adult images and videos Friday in a raid on the home of Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty as part of an investigation into her husband’s alleged connections to illegal pornography films.
Police are trying to clone Ms. Shetty’s phone and may also bring her in for a second round of questioning in the case against her husband Raj Kundra, 45, who was arrested on July 19 on charges of being a “key conspirator” in a porn production ring.
Researchers are also investigating whether Kundra used two or three other apps as part of a porn production ring.
He is accused of luring a woman to make a porn movie, promising to land her an acting job.
According to the Press Trust of India, an investigation was launched on Feb. 3 after a woman complained to police that she had been forced to make the film under false pretenses.
Police are now investigating whether Shetty took advantage of her husband’s alleged links to the adult film industry as part of her position as director of his company, Viaan.
She resigned from the company after the allegations came to light, but police are investigating whether she received money generated from adult content. E times reported.
Mr Kundra’s police custody was also extended on Friday until at least July 27.
Raj Kundra, 45, photographed arriving at Mumbai’s Esplanade Court, also known as Killa Court, on Tuesday. It is alleged that Kundra lured a woman to make a porn movie, promising to land her an acting job
Bollywood actress and Celebrity Big Brother star Shilpa Shetty (pictured right) has made a statement to Indian police as they investigate her husband’s connections to ‘illegal porn films’. Pictured left: Shetty’s husband Raj Kundra
Kundra is said to have set up a film company with his brother and registered it in the UK to evade India’s cyber laws.
He has reportedly left the company and has denied any wrongdoing, while his lawyer has objected to the content being classified as pornography.
In a court hearing on Thursday, Abad Ponda suggested that the content in question did not show sexual intercourse, but was simply vulgar content.
“Police follow what web series do these days: vulgar content. But that’s not really classified as porn. Nothing in this remand shows that two people actually indulged in sexual intercourse. If it’s not actual intercourse, it’s not classified as porn,” Ponda told the court, NDTV said.
Publishing or transmitting ‘obscene’ material, including porn, is illegal in India under a 2015 law and is punishable by up to seven years in prison.
Model actress Poonam Pandey has also reportedly filed a case against the businessman and his colleagues, alleging they used her content illegally.
Kundra and his colleagues deny the claims, saying they have not received any notification so far.
Police arrested nine people last week after actors were allegedly “forced” to shoot nude scenes for porn movies, which were then released or streamed on apps.
Another line of police investigation is the financial transactions of the Kernin company, which are allegedly funneled through Mr Kundra’s company called Viaan. They were spotted during investigations, sources had told NDTV.
Police are now searching statements from Kundra’s bank account, as well as transactions between Viaan and Kernin, the sources said.
Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty’s (left) husband Raj Kundra (right) was arrested Monday by Mumbai police for the role of ‘key conspirator’ in a pornography-related case
NDTV reported that it was informed that investigators had found a money trail that led them to an account at United Bank for Africa of a cricket bet called Mercury International, from which funds were transferred to Mr Kundra’s Yes Bank account.
According to the Times of India, Mumbai police told the court: “Police suspect that money earned from pornography has been used for online betting. Therefore, transactions between Raj Kundra’s Yes bank account and the United Bank of Africa account should be investigated.”
It is just the latest scandal to affect Kundra, who was banned from all cricket-related activity in 2015 after allegations of match fixing during his time as owner of the Rajasthan Royals alongside his wife Shilpa, with whom he has two children.
A hugely successful Bollywood actress herself, Shilpa rose to fame in Britain during the Celebrity Big Brother series in 2007 when she was racially abused by Jade Goody and other contestants.
The actress eventually won the series and reconciled with Jade the following year during the British reality star’s battle with cervical cancer.
In 2007, Shilpa rose to fame in the fifth series of Celebrity Big Brother and got involved in a racing row with the late Jade Goody, Danielle Lloyd and S Club 7 star Jo O’Meara.
In 2007, Shilpa rose to fame in the fifth series of Celebrity Big Brother (pictured) and got involved in a racing row with the late Jade Goody
Jade had entered the house with her mother Jackiey Budden and boyfriend Jack Tweed, with Jackiey quickly getting into arguments with several other housemates, including Shilpa, claiming she “couldn’t pronounce her name.”
Jackiey was quickly evicted, but friction between Jade and Shilpa continued, before the former made several racist comments, including claiming he couldn’t pronounce Shilpa’s name.
Jade was evicted shortly after in a match against Shilpa, who received 83 percent of the public vote.
She left the house without an audience due to the public response and the number of complaints Ofcom had received about her comments – about 45,000.
Shilpa eventually won the series.
Channel 4 initially tried to downplay the feud as “girlish rivalry” and a “cultural clash”, but was forced to apologize for “editorial errors of judgment” following an Ofcom ruling.
The episode sparked a national debate over what is considered racist language, with the headline “Beauty vs Bigot” in one newspaper.
A famous Bollywood actress in her own right, Shilpa rose to fame in the UK in 2007 when she won Celebrity Big Brother after being racially abused by Jade Goody and other contestants
Jade initially tried to defend herself against accusations of racism, but eventually admitted she had been wrong, before agreeing to join the Indian reality TV show Bigg Boss as a way of making amends.
But just two days after filming, Jade was diagnosed with cervical cancer and flown home for treatment.
She and Shilpa reconciled during her public battle with cancer, which saw her undergoing chemotherapy, and even visited her a few days before her death.
Jade passed away in March 2009.
Last year, Kundra and wife Shilpa welcomed their second child through a surrogate mother.
The couple announced their baby joy via Instagram, with Shilpa telling fans that the newborn has “completed our family.”
She shared the first photo of her daughter Samisha, who arrived on February 15, on social media.
Shilpa and husband Raj married in 2009. They are also parents to son Viaan Raj who was born in May 2012, three years after the couple tied the knot.