Mumbai: Karan Joseph told me he was getting threat calls, says pianist's roommate

Sep 11, 2017, 15:25 IST | A Correspondent

Proclaiming his innocence, Karan Joseph's friend and roommate Rishi Shah says he has tapes to prove that the pianist called him to say someone was threatening him

Rishi Shah. Courtesy/Facebook
Rishi Shah. Courtesy/Facebook

"I can understand that Karan's friends do not care for me, but they should have cared for their friend before making such accusations," said Rishi Shah, Indian-American media entrepreneur, while addressing allegations that he might be responsible for Karan Joseph's suicide.

Rishi Shah, CEO of Crossbones Media
Rishi Shah, CEO of Crossbones Media

Karan jumped from the 12th storey of Concorde Apartments, where he had been staying with Rishi for a month, ever since he moved to Mumbai. Moments before he jumped from the apartment window, he was watching TV with Rishi and a female friend, Suzana Uusmaa. After his death, many of his friends pointed the finger of suspicion at Rishi, who they said was a bad influence on Karan. There were allegations that Rishi had been supplying Karan with drugs and might be responsible for his suicide. Karan's parents revealed that he was being threatened by people, although he did not mention by whom.

Karan Joseph's body is taken for the last rites. Pic/Tanvi Phondekar
Karan Joseph's body is taken for the last rites. Pic/Tanvi Phondekar

"Karan had called me too, and informed me of the threat to his life," said Rishi. The CEO of Crossbones Media added, "Karan was a great guy, a good kid and not a shy person at all. He loved to play keyboard and he was born to do that. Karan never cared for money, he just loved music. I wanted to go his funeral but thought my presence would disturb some."

Also read - Pianist Karan Joseph suicide: Post-mortem cites multiple injuries as cause of death

'Didn't do drugs'
According to Rishi, Karan's mother had stayed with them for a fortnight while she was undergoing treatment. "If we were doing drugs, why would we accommodate Karan's mother for such a long time?" said Rishi.

Also read: Pianist Karan Joseph sent messages to several friends telling them he was being beaten up

He put the allegations down to professional enmity. "I have been promoting young talents in the music industry, and this has created rifts between the seniors and me. They levied lots of accusations against me and even blackmailed Karan to stop working with me," Rishi claimed.

A call for help
Shah said that on Saturday, Karan was with him and a female friend at their Bandra residence. At 4.43 am, as per the CCTV footage from the society, Karan went out. "Around 6.14 am, I received a call on my cell phone, when Karan informed me that he had been threatened and beaten up by someone. I asked him to come back to the house and not to worry," said Rishi.

Also read: Pianist Karan Joseph told his mother that he felt alone and threatened a day before his suicide

He added, "Around 7 am, Karan came back, and the three of us (Karan, Rishi and Suzana) were chilling. When he got up, we thought he wanted to smoke. Before we realised what he was up to, Karan just stepped out of the window."

Also read: Genius pianist Karan Joseph jumps to death from 12th floor of Mumbai highrise

Rishi said that he rushed downstairs immediately. When the police van arrived, he helped them to load the body and remained with them till Karan's family and everyone else arrived at the hospital. "Soon after the incident, a team of cops searched my residence. I was out since morning and did not go home till the cops were done with their procedure. If we were doing drugs, they would have found something from the house," he said, adding, "The police are investigating, and they will do their best to find the truth."

You may also like - Photos: Mehr Jesia, Prateik Babbar others at Karan Joseph's funeral
Photos: Mehr Jesia, Prateik Babbar others at Karan Joseph's funeral

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