Paul Bhattacharjee declared bankrupt week before 'suicide'

Action filed by HMRC days before Bond actor was found dead at the bottom of Splash Point cliffs in East Sussex

A Shakespearean actor found dead at the bottom of a cliff after a suspected suicide was made bankrupt last week after being pursued by the taxman, The Independent has learned.

Paul Bhattacharjee, who also appeared in a James Bond film and Eastenders, went missing on July 10, a day after he was declared bankrupt in the High Courts of Justice, London.

The bankruptcy action was filed by one petitioner, HM Revenue and Customs. The amount he owed has not yet been declared. Nor is it clear if there were any other creditors.

The court action will inform the police investigation looking at reasons why the  successful actor, whose death shocked the arts world, apparently took his own life.

As well as appearing in the James Bond film Casino Royale the versatile 53-year-old appeared in several episodes of EastEnders as Inzamam between 2008 and 2010 as well as a number of other films and TV series.

He was last seen leaving the Royal Court theatre in London’s Sloane Square on Wednesday, July 10, where he had been due to appear in the play Talk Show, which began this week. His role in the play was recast.

His body was found at Splash Point cliffs, Seaford, East Sussex, on July 12 and identified a day later. It is believed the actor visited his mother, who also lives in Seaford, not long before he died. Police said they were not treating his death as suspicious.

Those who saw the actor during his final days remarked he was in good spirits, but on the night he was last seen he sent a text message to his girlfriend, Emma McKie, 23, whom he met on stage in the West End. That text raised concerns about his welfare and led to appeals to trace him.

His son, Rahul Bhattacharjee-Prashar – who lives with his art director mother, Arti Prashar, from whom Mr Bhattacharjee was separated - said disappearance was “completely out of character”.

Other actors, Bend It Like Beckham actress Parminder Nagra, Sex in the City star Kim Cattrall and Stephen Fry, appealed on Twitter for help in finding the actor.

After his death, Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre Vicky Featherstone said: “We are deeply shocked and completely devastated at the loss of our dear friend and brilliant colleague. “Paul has been such an important part of the world of theatre in so many ways and we shall miss him terribly.”

His agent, Sally Long-Innes, told the Times “he seemed completely fine to me”. She said: “As far as we could tell there was nothing wrong with his state of mind.”

The musician and composer Nitin Sawhney tweeted: “The saddest day. My friend (cast as Tagore in my play) Paul Bhattacharjee was found dead yesterday.”

Director Jamie Lloyd said: “Very sad to hear about the death of Paul Bhattacharjee. He was a very fine actor. My thoughts are with his family.”

Last year Mr Bhattacharjee appeared as Benedick opposite Meera Syal in the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Much Ado about Nothing.

She said: “Paul was a consummate actor and relished every opportunity and challenge. He brought a freshness to each role.

“I will miss him and always regret very much that we have been robbed of his wonderful talent and the great work he still had to produce in his career.

“I gave him a lift home a few weeks ago and he was extremely happy and in good spirits and his death is such a shock and my thoughts are with his family.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

E150/2014 - English Language Checker (Grade B3)

On Application: Council of Europe: The European Court of Human Rights’s judgme...

Marketing Executive

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...

Project Manager - Bristol South West

£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Project Manager (PM), Key Banking Client, Retail ...

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?