'Darshan threatened my life': Kannada producer Bharath VJ alleges amid Renukaswamy murder probe

    Kannada producer Bharath VJ alleged that Darshan had threatened his life in connection over an unfinished movie project. 

    Bharath VJ with Darshan.

    Bharath VJ with Darshan.

    Kannada superstar Darshan Thoogudeepa has been dominating the headlines since his arrest in connection with the murder of Renukaswamy. The debates have been highly polarized, with many even expressing their continued support for Darshan, who is accused of murder.

    Amid all the debates, new allegations against Darshan have also come to light. Recently, Kannada producer Bharath VJ alleged that Darshan had threatened his life in connection with a project that didn't materialize. "Darshan threatened that he would make me disappear," Bharath claimed while speaking to a Kannada news channel.

    The latest controversy has further damaged Darshan's public image, which is already in a downward spiral. The controversy gained momentum after a phone call conversation between Bharath and Darshan resurfaced on the internet and went viral.

    In the phone conversation, which happened during the COVID-19 lockdown, Darshan could be heard pressuring Bharath to finish a movie project. In 2020, the project Bhagwan Shri Krishna Paramathma was launched in Bengaluru, with Darshan as the chief guest at the event.

    The movie, directed by Prasad BN, didn't go into production as expected because producer Bharath was struggling to raise the required funds at the time. During this period, Darshan called Bharath and warned him to finish what he started as it was a matter of "Suraj's career."

    Suraj Kumar, aka Dhruwan, is the son of producer S.A. Srinivas, brother of the late Parvathamma Rajkumar. "Will you take responsibility for his (Suraj's) career?" Darshan could be heard asking Bharath. "I won't talk to you again about this. If you don't start the film shooting, I will make sure you disappear. If you want, consider it a warning."

    In return, Bharath promised to start the project soon after the government relaxed the lockdown restrictions.

    In a recent interview, Bharath alleged that as he was struggling to raise funds to finish the shoot, Darshan summoned him again. "Darshan sir asked me to meet him in a shed in RR Nagar. The shooting of Kranti was going on. I went there in the morning, and they kept me there until evening," he recalled.

    He noted that while he was not physically harmed, the threat of impending violence unnerved him. Darshan wanted Bharath to give up his rights to the movie and was also ready to sign an NOC. However, Bharath noted that the friction began to appear in the negotiation when Darshan asked him to sign the NOC without first settling all the money he had spent on the movie until then. "Darshan sir said that he would make sure I got the money later. But I was not ready to sign it without first getting my money back," he claimed.

    Bharath alleged that since then, he has been struggling to make a movie in Kannada cinema. He claimed that all his projects were stalled as a few unknown people threatened those he approached to collaborate with.