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Height (approx.) 1.68 m/ 5' 6"
Date of Birth 11 March 1991
Debut Film Debut:
Total Nadaniyaan (2015)
Sister- Shradhdha Pandey
Brother- Nilesh Pandey
Husband: Sam Ahmed Bombay (Film Director & Producer)
Marriage Date 1 September 2020 (Tuesday)
As of 2020 Nov
In a country which is still prudish about sex, this middle class girl from Thane has unashamedly built a thriving business as an erotic star
Mahatma Gandhi is the name Poonam Pandey thoughtfully picks to suggest who signifies ‘competition’ to her. “He’s possibly the most controversial figure in our country and I’d rather compete with him than Sunny Leone or Kim Kardashian,” she deadpans. If controversies are what she is courting, the 30-year-old is not far from her goal since they follow Pandey like Mary’s little lamb, and have helped turn her from just another aspiring model to an adult entertainer who earns big bucks.
Her lockdown diary in brief: In May, Pandey was booked by Mumbai Police for flouting lockdown rules by taking a spin around the city in her car. In September, within a fortnight of marrying her boyfriend Sam Bombay, she filed an FIR against him for assaulting her during their honeymoon in Goa. Even as they returned on Instagram as “Mr & Mrs Bombay” curled up in each other’s arms, much to the consternation of the Goa police — a complaint was filed and the couple detained — this time for allegedly shooting an obscene video at the Chapoli dam in the coastal state.
“We thought it was a beautiful location to shoot in. I had no clue that it was a government restricted property. I’ve shot in places and temperatures you can’t even think of taking your clothes off,” she says. “But I accept my fault. Goan people are so sweet.”
Born to a father who sold industrial furnaces and a mother who stayed at home “to deal with a girl like me”, the self-proclaimed “kameeni of the family” was shoved into the spotlight of her own making when she pledged to do a full monty for the Indian cricket team if they beat Pakistan in the World Cup semi-finals in 2011. “I was 17 when I started modelling. I was a Gladrags and a Kingfisher calendar model yet why was no one noticing me?” It was a door, she felt, she had to prise open herself.
And then India not only thrashed Pakistan, they also won the World Cup. “But the BCCI did not allow me to strip,” she rues. “Dar mujhe bhi lagta hai. When I made the statement, I did it for fun. How would I know there’d be 25 court cases and mahila morchas after me... It’s like a teenager had ruined Indian sabhyata with five words. I thought to myself, ‘take it easy Poonam — there’s a long road ahead, you can do 500 controversies but this one — go easy!”
She parlayed that burst of notoriety into nearly 10 years of building a pout and-strip empire. As producer and star of her own show on an app that makes her private moments public, Poonam has managed to catapult herself from a oneroom apartment in Thane’s Tilaknagar where she lived with her family of five to a four-storeyed bungalow in one of Bandra’s spiffiest corners, Turner Road.
According to reports, her net worth as of 2020 is estimated at $7 million, that’s Rs 52 crore. Asked if it is true, she laughs: “See, I don’t want anyone coming after me but yes, it’s very close to the kind of money superstars make,” she concedes. Sitting in her plush living room, Pandey comes across as a blend of brash and bashful; of middle class roots and full-on diva as she flutters her eyelashes and takes stock of her life today buffered by “six staff members, three chefs, a husband who isn’t as traumatised by the things I do unlike my parents, a BMW luxury sedan and a Porsche on my wishlist.”
As we plunge awkwardly into her marital troubles after she packed her newlywed husband off to jail, she says without batting an eyelid, “We had a fight but in my case everything becomes big. I can be a volcano at times. We’re good now!”
Has her family come to terms with her sexuality, we wonder aloud. “Pehle bahut maar parti thi and my mother still doesn’t know everything. But even as an irresponsible child, I’m responsible for taking care of them and they love me for that.”
As she shows off her younger sister who has studied law and a successful businessman as elder brother, “I’m a little stupid doing all this silly stuff,” she giggles. But Pandey is remarkably aware of how she managed to build her brand — of barely covering nor actually showing any of her lady bits — to appeal to people’s sense of voyeurism. What started as amateur videos with titles like ‘My Bathroom Secrets’ and ‘Jingle Boobs for Christmas’ that she calls “kindergarten stuff” shot on her phone graduated to a personal app in 2017 that now has a “70-member crew” working behind the scenes. “In my first video I was topless,” she chortles. “It went viral, I saw the numbers growing and now it’s turned into a business.”
Entering her app which, she claims, has 2.5 million subscribers, is almost like stepping into a virtual playboy mansion that invites you into her “private room” with a horny camera on the loose. At first glance you see a gallery of short films with curtains pulled back on Pandey in various stages of undress — clutching her bare breast, leaning on a broken kitchen sink in a garden, or simply lying naked in bed caressing a guitar — all cheekily behind a red filter. The game plan is smart. She uses “native currency” in the form of hearts to seduce followers into membership tiers — classic, royal and private club — which could leave one poorer by Rs 9 to Rs 9,999 but would unlock these lurid fantasies. “Indians make up 60% of my fan following, 30% are in the US and the rest global,” says Pandey who refuses to be labelled a porn star. “What I do isn’t porn, it’s erotica. It’s the difference between an android phone and an iPhone. I’m an iPhone.”
For someone with an ability to court attention with anything she does including one of the five movies she starred in — Nasha, playing Mrs Robinson to a teenage boy and angering political outfits who burnt the posters — Pandey has barely appeared (no pun intended) on the silver screen. “I get offered web series. A lot of sex scenes is not a problem because I understand what people want from me. But there has to be a story, no?”
So what goal has she set herself ? “To be like salt!” she says, cocking her head to one side. “See, you can add any masala to your food but if salt is missing, it’s tasteless. But if you add too much salt, it could ruin your food. I want to be that right amount of salt in people’s lives,” she chuckles.
2014/ Rival model tries to allege affair between Pandey and DIG Paraskar
The rape and molestation charges levelled against DIG Paraskar by a small-time model has taken a new twist. Zee News has got access to some exclusive `WhatsApp` chat details between the model and her former lawyer Rizwan Siddiqui, which potentially blows the lid off the whole controversy, giving it a new angle altogether.
On June 23, 8:52 am, the model messaged Rizwan saying, “I have just got to know that DIG Paraskar had an affair with Poonam Pandey and he even helped her get some publicity recently. Paraskar called her up in the police station in relation to some case and just let go off her after giving a warning. You prepare a notice of my complaint against the DIG and we will send one copy of which to the Police Commissioner and also to the media. We will set the media people stand outside the Commissioner office. Also, remember one thing that we have to do all this before Ramadan. The media has to be updated on our case regularly.
On June 24, 8:54 am, the model again sent a message, it read, “I will take the email print outs and meet Rakesh Maria personally next week. After which, he will start the investigation in this case as well as the Poonam Pandey angle. Soon, the news will reach the media automatically. Meanwhile, you send the notice to Sunil Paraskar.
On June 28, the model talks about the emails sent to the DIG.
June 28, 9:11 am, the model writes, “I have sent some 20 odd emails to the DIG, this might help you in filing the case against him.” On the same day, this small-time model sent another message on 10:04 am, which said, “Paraskar will remain mum on the issue, asking Poonam Pandey to hire a lawyer and file a defamation case.”
June 30, 10:15 am, she wrote, “We will have to give one copy of this notice to the Police Commissioner, one to Sunil Paraskar and one to the media.”
On July 2, 8:24 am, the message which the model sent Rizwan read, “ I want to make this case a popular one.” The same day, at 8:27 am, she again wrote, “I will not speak with the media directly. You will talk to them about my case. I have spoken to a few English news channels, all we have to do is prepare a solid notice against the DIG.”
On July 3, 9:33 am, she wrote, “Paraskar wants to meet me today. Also he wants you, my sister and an investigating officer to accompany us. But I don`t want to meet him, rather I will meet the officer alone. I will carry a voice recorder with me and try to record the entire conversation. Now, you tell me how will I do all this. Also, include Poonam and Manisha`s name in my notice.”
On July 4, 9:18 am, she wrote, “I have tweeted against Poonam and Paraskar. A news channel head has advised me to file an FIR against Paraskar and Poonam in police station. Tell me how to do it?”
On July 10, 7:40 am, the model messaged Rizwan, expressing her displeasure over casting of a popular reality TV show, for which she along with Poonam Pandey are reportedly vying. She wrote, “Sunil Paraskar is not replying, now he will be off on a vacation. The casting for the TV show has started already. Either she will be taken in or me. We both can`t be offered the show, as we fall in the same category. For past two years, both of us have been getting dropped at the last moment. Let`s see what happens this year.”
On July 14, 9:04 pm, the model says, “We can`t really file any case against Paraskar. Suppose, if I say that there is an affair between Paraskar and Poonam. And if I leak the email conversation that I had with him over this thing, can he file a case against me?”
On July 15, 10:14 am, she messaged, “Call me whenever you get free. I have to push this news fast.”
The model had last chatted with Rizwan on July 21 and not even once `rape` was mentioned in her messages. It was only after the lawyer excused himself from the controversial case, the model in the last week of July decided to come up with the rape and molestation charges bid against the DIG.
2020: Pandey gets husband of 2 ½ months arrested for assault
Poonam Pandey, who got married to Sam Bombay on September 11, filed a complaint against her husband claiming he had molested, threatened and assaulted her.
Actor Poonam Pandey’s husband Sam Bombay was arrested on Tuesday in Goa after she filed a complaint claiming he had molested, threatened and assaulted her, police said.
The incident happened in Canacona village in south Goa where Pandey is currently shooting for a film, said an official.
“Pandey filed a complaint late Monday night claiming her husband Sam Bombay had molested her, and threatened her with dire consequences after assaulting her. He was arrested,” Inspector Tukaram Chavan of Canacona police station said.