How Indian model Poonam Pandey ‘died’ faking her own death
How Indian model Poonam Pandey ‘died’ faking her own death
Sunday, February 4, 2024 6:42 pm
By Nehru Odeh
Indian model and erotic actress Poonam Pandey set the world on fire on Friday 2 February when news broke that she had died from cervical cancer at 32. The statement about her demise, which was released on her Instagram page, was not only shocking but triggered a lot of reactions across the globe, with many expressing shock and sadness while paying tributes to her.
“This morning is a tough one for us. Deeply saddened to inform you that we have lost our beloved Poonam to cervical cancer. Every living form that ever came in contact with her was met with pure love and kindness. In this time of grief, we would request for privacy while we remember her fondly for all that we shared,” the post read.
Her team confirmed in media statements that Pandey had “bravely fought the disease” but had “tragically passed away”. “Her unwavering spirit amidst her health struggles was truly remarkable,” her manager, Nikita Sharma, told reporters, adding that there was a “critical need for increased awareness and proactive measures against preventable diseases like cervical cancer”.
However, in a shocking twist of events, it turned out that Pandev did not die. She herself shocked the world furthermore when she posted a video on Instagram on Saturday saying that she had not died, that the news was a hoax and publicity stunt to raise awareness about cervical cancer. She apologized to her fans for shocking them. Still, she sounded brash, self-righteous and unabashed, saying that that she was proud of what her death news had been able to achieve, adding that the stunt was necessary
“Yes, I faked my demise. Extreme, I know. But suddenly we all are talking about cervical cancer, aren’t we?” Pandey said. “I am proud of what my death news has been able to achieve.”
“Unlike some other cancers, cervical cancer is entirely preventable. The key lies in the HPV vaccine and early detection tests. We have the means to ensure no one loses their life to this disease.
“Let’s empower one another with critical awareness and ensure every woman is informed about the steps to take.”
She then urged her followers to “bring #DeathToCervicalCancer”.
In a later post defending her actions, she said: “Feel free to express your frustration – I understand. But this is not just lip service, instead I’m committing my entire body to the service of cervical cancer.
“Once you’ve portrayed your sentiments, I invite you to visit www.poonampandeyisalive.com, my gift to you, where we can come together to combat cervical cancer.”
This sudden twist of events has not only shocked the globe furthermore, but it has elicited a lot of reactions. Many believe that it was a publicity stunt taking too far. They condemned her move and called for sanctions.
For instance, the All Indian Cine Workers Association (AICWA) has issued a statement demanding an FIR against her, stating that not only did she stoop so low but also that her act has hurt sentiments of Indians, who paid tributes to her. “Strict action against them is necessary so that such types of fake news will not be circulated by anyone,’ the body said.
AICWA said that ‘using the guise of cervical cancer for self-promotion is not acceptable’.
“The fake news of the demise of model and actress Poonam Pandey due to cervical cancer sent a shockwave among all in the Indian Film industry. This fake news was created for a publicity stunt by model and actress Poonam Pandey which is being confirmed by her manager.
“This fake news had hurt the sentiments of all Indians who paid tribute to her. We request your good self to please file an FIR against both Poonam Pandey and her manager for spreading fake news merely for their PR publicity.
“Strict action against them is necessary so that such types of fake news will not be circulated by anyone. Such cheap publicity is not at all accepted in our Indian Film Industry which has high emotional values for all,” the statement read.
Maharashtra legislator Satyajeet Tambe has also demanded that Mumbai police take action against Poonam Pandey.
“The news of an influencer/model dying of cervical cancer cannot be a means to spread awareness about the disease. The entire episode takes away the serious nature of cervical cancer and diverts the attention entirely to the influencer,” Tambe said.
Actor Pooja Bhatt and filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri have also called out Poonam for her “disgraceful” stunt.
“I never delete tweets but did so in the case where I expressed my shock at the news of Poonam Pandey’s demise due to cervical cancer. Why? Turns out the news was engineered by a digital/PR team. Absolute disgrace & disservice to those battling the same-her included,” Pooja Bhatt wrote on X.
“Actually, it was a marketing campaign for @thehauterrfly. Watch the end and the logo on right upper corner. How sinister, how pathetic,” Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri posted on X.
Many believe Pandey’s bravado is a stunt taking too far and tantamount to crying wolf where there is none in the name of raising awareness on cervical cancer.
By faking her death in order to raise awareness about a serious disease like cervical cancer and turning the whole thing into a huge joke is also tantamount to rubbishing the awareness campaign and trivializing it, making it look unimportant and insignificant.
It is definitely going to impact the model cum actress negatively. This indeed will amount to her ‘death.’ Apart from the sanctions many are calling to be imposed on her, she has by turning a serious thing into a huge joke cast a slur on not just her modelling and acting career but also on her personality.
Many see this stunt that Pandey has pulled as tantamount to the death of her acting and modelling career. She will not only be a pariah, people will no longer take her seriously. Her actions has definitely led to her ‘death’ while still alive.
Like what happened to the boy fond of crying wolf when there was none, by the time she eventually dies, nobody will take the news of her death seriously. They may likely see it as another publicity stunt.
Still, Pandey is not new to controversy. Controversy is her forte. She courts it like the way a lover courts a lady he is infatuated with, all in the name of pulling stunts and gaining popularity. She courts publicity through her bold looks and semi-nude photos on social media.
A hugely popular social media personality, she gained popularity initially due to her controversial posts on X’ formerly known as Twitter. Pandey began her modelling career in 2010 and has garnered a reputation for outlandish stunts and risque behaviour.
She first gained fame when she promise to strip naked if the Indian cricket team the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Although she didn’t keep her promise, the incident shot her to fame.
Pandey was also briefly married to music producer Sam Bombay, with whom they often shared videos and photos on social media platforms and were also once booked for posing semi-nude at a beach in Goa. Many were surprised at their union.The marriage, however, did not last long. She accused him of domestic violence immediately after their wedding in 2020.
Pandey has appeared in a few Bollywood films, including “Nasha” (2013) and “The Journey of Karma” (2018). She was part of reality shows such as “Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi” in 2011.
She participated in Bigg Boss a few years back and recently in 2022 in a show called Lock Upp which was hosted by Kangana Ranaut. Though Poonam did not win the show, her stint on the show increased her fan base.