Features, People & Parties

Priyanka Chopra’s Assistant Dies in LA

By: Zahra Syed Bollywood film star, Priyanka Chopra, received a call April 7, informing her that a beloved member of her entourage, Jiban Patra, had passed away. Priyanka and her team were on tour in the U.S. and had left earlier that week in order to attend the Times of India Film Awards in Vancouver, Canada. Patra, who was Priyanka’s assistant, had failed to receive the required visa to travel and therefore stayed back in Los Angeles. The day after the TOIFA gala, where Priyanka was named best actress for her performance in Barfi, 41-year-old Patra had been found dead in his Beverly Hill hotel room. It was identified that he suffered from a heart attack. Copy-2-of-TOIFA_ARRIVALS__SH__PNG0405_TOIFA_210654876-post1 Although this took place last week, Patra’s body is still at the Los Angeles mortuary. Priyanka and her team are trying to retrieve and bring the body back to India as quickly as possible. However the process is taking much longer than expected and is adding up to be very costly. The approximate cost for transporting the body is $15,000. Patra’s family as well as the Oriya community in India, have been in touch with the U.S. Embassy in order to speed up the process and work on a solution to gather the funds for transporting the body. Priyanka's representatives finally issued a statement about the incident yesterday morning. Here's what they said: This is a very unfortunate and unexpected situation.  Our deepest condolences go out to Mr. Patra’s family.  Our aim throughout was to ensure that Mr. Patra remains were brought back to his family at the very earliest.  Owing to the situation that this occurred in a foreign country, where no family member was present, there was multiple levels of paperwork and processes that had to be followed to ensure that the matter was handled effectively and in a timely manner. Owing to some delays in paperwork from the family’s end, the repatriation of the body was delayed.  Ms. Chopra also delayed her return to India to ensure that the everything was in place for Mr. Patra’s remains to be repatriated to India.  We have been in constant touch with the family to keep them updated on the matter.  All details and financial requirements related to the repatriation was and is being handled directly by Ms. Chopra and her team in LA.  We are making all efforts to ensure his family’s needs are taken care of at this unfortunate time. Patra, leaves behind a wife and two children in Mumbai. He was also the only earning member of the family.

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