Bollywood's top producers have filed a lawsuit against two television news channels for painting the film industry as a den of drugs and crime following the death of a young movie star, they said.
Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead in his Mumbai apartment in June in what police initially said appeared to be a case of suicide. His death unleashed frenzied media coverage with TV channels showing his body, analysing his medical prescriptions and suggesting "black magic" was performed on the actor.
The media also targeted his girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, who was eventually detained for drugs consumption. The suit, filed in the Delhi High Court, has more than 30 Bollywood production houses and four industry bodies as plaintiffs and refers to the coverage of Rajput's death.
"The privacy of the members of Bollywood is being invaded, and their reputations are being irreparably damaged by painting the entire Bollywood as criminals, seeped in drug culture, and making being part of Bollywood as synonymous with criminal acts in the public imagination," the producers said in a statement.
They named Republic TV and its founder Arnab Goswami, as well as Times Now, in the lawsuit filed in the Delhi High Court.