I cannot even imagine that Monica can be so cruel," says Kannada actor-director Adarsha, who had worked with the actress in the film OK Saar OK.
Adarsha was referring to the murder of Neeraj Amarnath Grover, 25, creative head of Synergy Adlabs [Get Quote]. Kannada starlet Maria Monica Susayraj and naval officer Lieutenant M L Jerome Mathew have been charged with the murder. According to sources, Monica has confessed the crime after two days of interrogation. Apparently, Jerome killed Neeraj with a kitchen knife. The two later chopped the body into about 300 pieces, shoved them into two sports bags, and burned and dumped the body in a remote location.
Jerome and Monica were arrested on Wednesday by the Mumbai police. Grover was the creative head of Star Plus' Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hai.
Adarsha says that he did not have many sequences with Monica in OK Saar OK but would spend time with her during the film's shooting.
"I found her in a disturbing mood many times," he says. "She had just ended an affair with a boy in Mysore. But that person was still pestering her. She always gave a feeling of being hurt. But even then, I cannot imagine that she can be so calculative and cunning to elimininate her alleged lover. I dont know how it is possible for a young aspiring actress, who wanted to do something in the industry."
The Kannada film industry was in a state of shock after hearing the news. Monica has acted in four Kannada films in a career spanning six years. She had created a lot of controversies and her name featured regularly in magazine gossip columns.
Monica was running a dance school in Mysore before she was selected by first-time director S Govind to act in Jhoot. Her debut film did not do well but her performance was appreciated.
Journalist Nandakumar, who introduced Monica to Govind, says that with a platform like Jhoot, Monica's career should have taken off. "But she lost focus and got involved in too many things," he says. "She wanted to achieve a lot in a short time. She did not care about her failing reputation. That might be responsible for her losing out on many roles."
Monica made headlines earlier when she complained that producer Madan Patel had threatened to eliminate her and pour acid on her face. She had even complained to the police commissioner in Mysore, alleging that she had been receiving threatening calls from the producer. However, Patel criticised Monica's attitude towards her profession and charged her with indiscipline.
Director Govind says that she was professional during the making of Jhoot. "She worked hard in the film and got some good reviews for her performance. But later, I lost touch with her," Govind says.