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Actor and model Poonam Panday dies

Bollywood actor and model Poonam Pandey has died at just 32 from cervical cancer.

A post to the Instagram account of Poonam Pandey stated the star had passed away on Thursday, local time in Mumbai, India.

“This morning is a tough one for us,” the post read.

“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 Indian press has reported Pandey’s manager Nikita Sharma said she was diagnosed with the disease “sometime ago.”

Sharma said Pandey’s death was “tragic” and has left the “entertainment industry in shock and mourning,” reported NDTV.

Pandey’s last post was just four days ago and showed her attending a boat party.

Since New Year, her Instagram account has been updated around 15 times – but it’s not clear when the images and video were taken.

Born in 1991 in Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, 500km southeast of Delhi, Pandey, rose to fame when she reached the finals of India’s annual Gladrags Manhunt and Megamodel Contest in 2011 and then appeared on the cover of the Gladrags fashion magazine.

Pandey courted controversy in 2011 when she said she would strip for India’s cricket team if they won the World Cup.

The team did but Pandey didn’t strip for them because of the controversy around her promise.

However, she did load a video onto social media of her stripping at the Wankhede cricket stadium in Mumbai at night.

Pandey did various nude shoots and stunts which turbocharged her following but also led to criticism.

In 2013 she starred in the Bollywood film Nasha where she played the lead role of a schoolteacher with whom one of her students became obsessed.

She went on to star in multiple other Indian films as well as the reality TV shows Fear Factor in 2011 and Lock Upp in 2022.

Pandey was a semi-finalist in the latter show, where controversial celebrities become “prisoners” and have to battle for rewards.

She married her boyfriend Sam Bombay in 2020 but that relationship has been marred by domestic violence allegations.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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