Bollywood star Poonam Pandey faked cancer death, says she was spreading awareness about disease

 February 5, 2024

Bollywood star Poonam Pandey ignited international outrage after faking her death from cervical cancer and defending herself by claiming she simply intended to spread awareness.

Pandey's "death" was announced on Friday in a message sent out to her 1.3 million fans posted by her management team.

The actress' manager, Nikita Sharma, issued a statement saying, "Poonam Pandey, the beloved actress and social media personality, has tragically passed away this morning due to cervical cancer, leaving the entertainment industry in shock and mourning."

However, days later, Pandey posted a video explaining, "Yes, I faked my demise. Extreme, I know. But suddenly, we all are talking about cervical cancer, aren't we? 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."

The questionable decision by Pandey earned her a lot of ire from fans and Bollywood observers alike.

Some believe the whole thing was a publicity stunt designed to boost Pandey's profile, and the criticism has been intense.