Actor Paul Bhattacharjee killed himself after being declared bankrupt

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 15, 2013 10:55 hrs

London: British Indian actor Paul Bhattacharjee was declared bankrupt shortly before he committed suicide in July this year, an inquest has heard.

Bhattacharjee, 53, who had starred in James Bond film 'Casino Royale' and television soap 'EastEnders', had an "irreparable" darkness inside him which might have led him to commit suicide, the inquest at Eastbourne Magistrates' Court was told, The Telegraph reported Thursday.

The actor, who lived in Elephant and Castle in Central London and was best known for his role as Inzamam Ahmed in 'EastEnders', went missing July 10 and the body was discovered in East Sussex July 12.

Following Bhattacharjee's disappearance, his girlfriend Emma McKie, 23, opened some letters in his flat and discovered that the actor had been declared bankrupt the day before he went missing July 9.

"He was a proud and protective man and he couldn't have handled the bankruptcy becoming public knowledge," McKie was quoted as saying.

"He would not have wanted to let me down or hurt me or his friends," she said.

"The bankruptcy was the final straw after a life of major highs and lows," McKie added.

The girlfriend of the actor described him as a beautiful and loving man. She said he had a close knit group of friends, including three or four he had known since his 20s.

The court heard that McKie last saw her partner July 10 and the actor complained about having an upset stomach.

She called the actor at around 7 p.m. that night to say that she was on her way home. Bhattacharjee texted her later that he would get late and told her to have dinner without him.

A final text message McKie received from the actor at 9.16 p.m. on the night of his disappearance was "I'm sorry". East Sussex coroner Alan Craze later received an anonymous letter saying that the actor's death was wholly linked with the bankruptcy.

David Tye, a detective sergeant of Sussex Police, said that there was no indication that anyone else played any role in Bhattacharjee's death.

"Paul was an incredibly gifted versatile and generous actor but also complex, deep thinking, engagingly opinionated and politically committed as a personality, truly wonderful to share a stage with," Meera Syal, who appeared alongside him in the Royal Shakespeare Company production of 'Much Ado about Nothing', said.

Colleagues across stage and screen, following the death of the star, poured in to pay tributes.

Bhattacharjee played the role of a doctor in 'Casino Royale' in 2006 and was in several episodes of 'EastEnders' as Masood's brother Inzamam between 2008 and 2010.

The actor also worked for the television serials like 'Waking the Dead', 'Spooks' and 'The Bill'.

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