Poonam Pandey, who was last seen in the reality show Lock Upp, died this morning after a “brave battle with illness”, her team said in a statement.
New Delhi: Model and reality TV star Poonam Pandey has died of cervical cancer, her agent said today, sparking shock and intense speculation in the absence of any information or family statement. The 32-year-old, who was last seen on reality show Lock Upp, died this morning after a “courageous battle with illness”, her team said in a statement.
“Beloved actress and social media personality Poonam Pandey has tragically passed away this morning from cervical cancer, leaving the entertainment world in shock and grief,” said her manager Nikita Sharma. “The tenacity she has shown in her battle with her health is truly remarkable,” Ms Sharma said, stressing that “there is an urgent need to raise awareness and take proactive measures to prevent diseases like cervical cancer.”
Reactions on social media ranged from disbelief to skepticism, with many pointing out that the model was spotted on the red carpet at an event in Goa just three days earlier. News of Poonam Pandey’s death came a day after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced plans to vaccinate girls aged nine to 14 against cervical cancer as part of the 2024 mid-term budget.
There were reports that her media manager Parul Chawla confirmed her death and later claimed that Poonam Pandey’s sister had called “to hear about her sudden death” and said she was awaiting further details. “On a side note, we received a call from her family (sister) this morning about her sudden death (as posted on her official Insta ID).
We are awaiting further information from the family so we can update everyone on the situation. We will make an official announcement when we have further updates to share,” said Charla.
“This is a difficult morning for us. It is with deep sadness that we announce that our beloved Poonam has lost her life to cervical cancer. Every living thing that came in contact with him was treated with pure love and kindness. We ask for privacy during this tragic time while we fondly remember all that she shared,” the statement said.
Poonam Pandey rose to fame after she posted a video before the 2011 Cricket World Cup final in which she said she would take off her clothes if India won. She didn’t, but she did post a nude photo when her favorite team Kolkata Knight Riders won the IPL the following year. Over the years, she has garnered a large following on social media for her controversial comments and often appears in candid videos.
Fans wonder if it’s real, a trick, or a prank
“Lost? Hope this isn’t a fake or funny post,” one fan wrote, thinking it might be a scam, while another wrote: “What’s real about this? Is it a way to advertise or promote a new project?”
On 14 March 2011, Pandya caused widespread concern on Twitter when she announced that she would strip if India won the Cricket World Cup.
India won the World Cup that year. But Pandey did not keep his promise. She mentioned that she didn’t want to do anything against the rules. She admitted it was all a “publicity stunt”.