Sushant Singh Rajput had a PRO team that would help him realise his lifelong dreams, his friend and close aide, Samuel Haokip was one of them. From helping him out with legal matters to handling his finances at point and even the broad running of his house, Samuel used to stay with Sushant and was an integral part of his life. Read below, an exclusive interaction with Samuel.
How did you know Sushant so well?
I was a legal advisor to him but I used to majorly focus on his movie contracts, negotiating with producers, drafting contracts for house helps and other people who used to work for him. I was also part of his Pro team. Sushant treated me like his younger brother and nurtured me.
What was the Pro team?
He wanted to have 5-6 people in that team who could help him to achieve his list of dreams. He had a 150-dream list and we as team members used to help him in every possible way to achieve them. And at the same time, we also achieved something individually. Sushant also used to take care of our salaries and everything.
What all was there in his dream list?
There were a lot of dreams like going to Norway and painting the night sky which was simple, but unfortunately, he couldn't complete it. Just like that there were many small big dreams out of which he managed to fulfil some whereas some were half-done, like he wanted to send 100 kids to NASA and he was able to send few of them. He wanted to help people, and under that helping umbrella he gave monetary help to Nagaland and Kerala during floods. But a lot was remaining.
Who all were part of that Pro team?
There is a guy called Kushal Zaveri who is a director, Siddharth Gupta who is an actor, Abbas was an editor, I was there as a legal advisor. But slowly everyone got busy with their work and commitments, so they left him. I was the only one left but then a lot of work came on me and I was unable to handle it individually. Sushant thought of hiring somebody and he reached out to one of his friends who suggested him Siddharth Pithani and that's how this guy came into the picture. Being the old one I pretty much trained him. And around that time only Rhea Chakraborty also came into the picture.
You also stayed with him in his house?
I stayed with him for more than a year. I was studying in Xavier’s when I got this opportunity to work for him via common friends. That time they were looking for someone with legal knowledge in this team. But I left him somewhere in July 2019. During my last few months Sushant made me in-charge of a lot of things, like I used to look for his security by consulting the third party who used to send us the bodyguard and describe their shift hours and everything. I was also taking care of his finances at that time.
Why did you leave Sushant then?
Sushant's elder sister Priyanka Di and her husband's name is also Siddharth is a famous lawyer in Delhi. Once when he had come down he asked me what I really wanted to do, if I wanted to stick with Sushant or pursue as a lawyer, individually. So he offered me a job. As a friend I wanted to be with Sushant and help him but at the same time I had to pursue my career and get back to my roots. So, I decided to go ahead with the offer and moved to Delhi to start my practice.
Was Sushant in depression by the time you left him?
By the time I stayed with him I never saw him depressed and he was not on any kind of medication. He was among the A-list actors at that point of time and when you are doing some big work in the industry and popular, few things happen that stress you and then certain things can make you angry or sad at the same time. But that's very normal. But I personally didn't come across any such moment where I could feel that he is depressed. The only time I saw him really low was during the shoot of Chhichhore's last schedule. Because he was getting into the character which required him to be like that because in the movie his son was above to die.
When did Rhea move in to stay with Sushant?
Rhea used to have her place in Khar where her family used to stay. Me and Sushant have gone to her house many times for dinner. She also used to come home and chill with us. At that point of time they were at the initial stage of love. It was only me and Sushant staying together with the house helps -Keshav (cook) and Neeraj. But then Rhea also stayed there and meanwhile Siddharth had also come down. Then Sushant had personally called Dipesh Sawant to stay with him. Dipesh was a friend of Abbas (Editor) from our Pro team.
How was Sushant and Rhea's relationship?
She entered his life somewhere around in April and by July I left his place. That time they were in the process of love like any other couple. So, I didn't sense anything wrong by that time. They may have started facing problems later which I am also not aware of.
When was the last time you spoke with Sushant?
We spoke over the phone after the day I left and when I came down to Mumbai.
Who all have you tried to reach out to after learning of his demise?
After learning about his demise I pretty much called everyone right from Kushal to Siddharth Pithani but no one picked up. Then I texted him on WhatsApp and later he replied saying we just got done with his funeral and everything.
You know who all were present at Sushant's place the day he died?
Siddharth Pithani, Dipesh Sawant, Neeraj and Keshav were there.
Did anyone of them tell you what exactly happened to him?
I spoke to everyone and all of them said the same thing. Like I had spoken to Neeraj first who told me Sir went to his room and then asked to get pomegranate juice. Then after sometime we knock the door he didn't open and all which is out in the media. I am not suspecting foul play but at the same time the revelations are being made I would like to wait for investigation to get over.
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