Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

#TRAGIC: "Proud" and "Gifted" Paul Bhattarchajee declared bankrupt a day before suicide

British Indian actor Paul Bhattacharjee was declared bankrupt a day before he took his own life, an inquest has heard.

Bhattacharjee, 53, who had appeared in Eastenders and the James Bond film Casino Royale, was last seen leaving rehearsals for a new play in Central London on 10 July.

His body was later found off a cliff near Seaford, East Sussex on 12 July.

Mr Bhattacharjee’s partner Emma McKie told the inquest that he was a “proud” man who would not have wanted anyone to know about his financial circumstances.

In a statement read out to court, Ms McKie said: “I do believe that Paul would take his own life. He had a darkness inside him that was irreparable.”

Following his disappearance, Ms McKie opened some letters in his flat and discovered he had been declared bankrupt the day before, on July 9.

She added in her statement: “He was a proud and protective man and he couldn’t have handled the bankruptcy becoming public knowledge.

He would not have wanted to let me down or hurt me or his friends.

The bankruptcy was the final straw after a life of major highs and lows.”

On the night of his disappearance, the actor is said to have texted Ms McKie with the words “I’m Sorry”.

A member of the public reported seeing what they thought was a body at cliffs below Splash Point in Seaford on the evening of July 12, and it was later recovered.

Initial inquiries to try to find out who the man was proved fruitless.

Then, on July 17, a colleague of coroner’s officer Karen Brown saw an article online about the disappearance of Mr Bhattacharjee.

Sussex Police liaised with the Metropolitan Police and the body was confirmed as that of Mr Bhattacharjee later that day, the inquest was told.

East Sussex coroner Alan Craze later received an anonymous letter disclosing that his death was deliberate and ‘linking it wholly and entirely to his bankruptcy’.

Mr Bhattacharjee’s death led to an outpouring of tributes from actors from across the spectrum for the star of ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’, ‘Dirty Pretty Things’, ‘White Teeth’ as well as scores of plays.

Meera Syal, who appeared alongside him in the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Much Ado about Nothing, said: “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.”

Following his disappearance, Bend It Like Beckham actress Parminder Nagra, Sex in the City star Kim Cattrall and Stephen Fry - who went missing for a week in 1995 - appealed to their Twitter followers for information about the actor.



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