Vishal Kirti, the brother-in-law of the deceased Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput on Sunday slammed YouTube journalist Barkha Dutt for her insensitivity and the lack of professional ethics in reporting the death of Sushant Singh Rajput after the controversial journalist pushed the actor’s alleged therapist to divulge confidential medical records of the actor saying that he had bipolar disorder.
In an interview, Susan Walker Moffat, who claimed to be a therapist to the deceased actor, said that Sushant had Bipolar disorder prompting social media users to raise serious questions on both Barkha Dutt and Susan Moffat’s credibility and their respect for client’s confidentiality.
Following the Barkha Dutt’s interview with the therapist, Vishal Kirti, the brother-in-law of Sushant Singh Rajput has lambasted the former NDTV news anchor stating that Sushant Singh Rajput’s death was not an opportunity to spread awareness about mental health.
Vishal Kirti stated that he personally believed that there should not be a “special” stigma around mental health issues as just like physical health, mental health is also an outcome of biology and the environment. Kirti also said that his reason to explicitly mention “special” is that it is nearly impossible to completely eliminate stigma from health issues.
“However, since there is an enormous amount of stigma today, mental health information is protected by the law of the land. Disclosing mental health information by a psychotherapist/psychologist is not only unethical but also illegal (except for certain circumstances which don’t apply here). I leave it to my father-in-law to press charges on this matter.
Calling for criminal charges against Rhea is not misogynistic, says Kirti
In a long post written by Kiri, he said that he too was a feminist and cared about women’s issues but calling criminal charges against Rhea Chakraborty as ‘misogynistic’ is an incorrect assessment of the situation. “My first point is that caring about women’s issues is not incompatible with filing criminal charges against a female suspect,” wrote Kirti.
Questioning the validity of claims made by the so-called therapist of Sushant, brother-in-law Vishal Kirti made some relevant observations saying that diagnosing mental disorders is an arduous task and diagnosing someone Bipolar was even more complex. He said that not only someone has to observe the person very closely, but also over long periods of time. Challenging Susan’s claims, Kirti said that the therapist worked with the actor for over two months, which was a very short time to conclude that the actor had such symptoms.
Kirti notes that it takes at least six years on an average to diagnose the onset of symptoms. He slammed Susan for her audacity to disclose this information in the public domain.
“If we are to believe Susan, another thing which does become clear is that it was Rhea indeed who was seeking treatment for Sushant and not Sushant himself. Prior to October/November 2019 (and certainly prior to meeting Rhea), as far as I know, no one who has lived with Sushant has ever complained about his mental health, nor has Sushant himself,” revealed Vishal Kirti.
Brother-in-law raises suspicion over the role of Rhea in Sushant’s death
Raising suspicion over Rhea Chakraborty’s role in the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, Kirti pointed out the FIR that said how Sushant was perhaps given psychotropic drugs by Rhea covertly, which he said was illegal.
Vishal Kirti wrote, “There could be many explanations of this sudden onset of mental health issues in October/November of 2019. This could be a result of covert medication and withdrawal of psychotropic drugs (perhaps the covert medication stopped during their Europe trip in October 2019 [perhaps because of eating out mostly so no opportunity to covertly medicate him with food? or perhaps intentionally not medicating?], which led to withdrawal symptoms).”
Further, Kirti raises the suspicion that Sushant Singh Rajput was taken to the psychotherapist under the pretext of care. He also expressed his surprise over the manner in which appointments were set up by Rhea, who was also present all the time which could have been a sign of keeping a tab on Sushant’s conversations with the psychotherapist and keeping evidence of mental health issues so that it can be used later for blackmail or to justify the firm control on his resources.
Sushant was gaslighted by Rhea, says Vishal Kirti
According to Kirti, the actor may not have got the opportunity to highlight the gaslighting and blackmail done by Rhea to his therapist as there was no privacy with Rhea’s presence.
“Sushant seemed to have suffered gaslighting at the hands of Rhea, based on the information in the public domain. Antisocial Personality Disorder is the more technical term for sociopathy/psychopathy and could be potentially diagnosed for Rhea (I am not diagnosing, only suggesting). Based on what happened, gaslighting seems to fit the bill, in addition to other methods of confinement and control…Based on the evidence in the public domain so far and the claims in the FIR, Rhea is the prime suspect in this case. It will indeed be a shocking surprise to the entire nation if it is found in the court of law that she was a loving partner and not an opportunist who eliminated most of Sushant’s ties with his family and friends,” Kirti noted while pointing fingers at Rhea Chakraborty for her role in the death of the 34-year-old actor.
Barkha Dutt needs to conduct herself better
Finally, expressing his disappointment over the manner in which Barkha Dutt conducted herself in reporting Sushant Singh Rajput’s case, Vishal Kirti said that he was very disappointed with the path she chose in this matter.
“Unless proven in the court of law that Sushant took his own life because of a mental illness that happened without any foul play (gaslighting, blackmail, covert medication, or overt overmedication), this is NOT the example to use to create awareness around mental illness. Even if proven in the court of law, the only thing that can be even remotely used is the awareness aspect of it with the intention to help and never the intimate details of the diagnosis or disclosure of diagnosis from the mental health professional,” said Kirti.
Pointing out that Barkha Dutt could have chosen to emphasize the financial angle to probe the matter rather than discussing the mental health of the actor, the brother-in-law of the deceased actor said that Barkha still has an opportunity to amend by reflecting on the choice she has made and perhaps apologizing for not deliberating on this enough before hitting publish.
Susan Walker Moffat’s qualification questioned
Several social media users have also questioned the authority of Susan to declare that Sushant was suffering from bipolar disorder. It has been pointed out that Susan is a Psychology Counselor, and not a Psychiatrist.
A Psychiatrist is a medical doctor, and only Psychiatrists can diagnose and certify that someone has a specific disorder, and can prescribe medicine or treatment for that, including counselling by a Psychologist. Susan Walker Moffat has done MSc in Psychology from London University, she has no medical qualification, and although she can advise tests and diagnose a condition, she is not authorised to confirm or certify that diagnosis, only a qualified doctor in psychiatry can do that. Moreover, The psychology course can be taken by Arts students too. Therefore, by declaring on Barkha Dutt’s YouTube channel that Sushant Singh Rajput had bipolar disorder, she has exceeded her authorities, apart from violating client confidentiality norms.