Indian Model Poonam Pandey Faces Backlash For Faking Death To Raise Cervical Cancer Awareness

Indian model Poonam Pandey (2011 Kingfis
Indian model Poonam Pandey (2011 Kingfisher Calendar girl) poses for a candid photo shoot in Mumbai on June 1, 2012. AFP PHOTO/ STR (Photo credit should read STRDEL/AFP/GettyImages)
Indian model Poonam Pandey (Photo credit should read STRDEL/AFP/GettyImages)

OAN’s Abril Elfi
9:34 AM – Sunday, February 4, 2024

Indian model and Bollywood actress Poonam Pandey is facing backlash for faking her death to spread awareness for cervical cancer.


On February 2nd, a post on the model’s Instagram stated that she had passed away from cervical cancer. 

However, a day later, a video was posted to her account revealing she did not actually die, and instead it was a stunt to raise awareness about the cause.

“I’m alive. I didn’t die because of cervical cancer,” Pandey said. “Unfortunately, I cannot say that about those hundreds of thousands of women who have lost their lives because of cervical cancer.”

“It is not because they couldn’t do anything about it, it’s because they had no idea what to do about it.”

She continued to say that women only needed to get tested and receive the HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, which is “unlike other cancers.”

Pandey apologized to everyone who was offended by her “death” and stated that her sole goal was to “shock everyone” and start a discussion about the fatal illness.

“Yes, I faked my demise, extreme I know, but suddenly we are all talking cervical cancer, aren’t we?” she said in a follow-up video.

Many users and other models have called out Pandey for her stunt and the approach she took to spread awareness. 

“This is the most ridiculous way to promote something,” one commenter posted.

“Am happy she is alive but [please] arrest her for the drama and publicity stunt,” another read.

“Next time people won’t take you seriously, you just destroyed your entire credibility.”

Pandey, on the other hand, defended the hoax, claiming that her family members had the illness and that she wasn’t doing it to hurt people.

“For those who are saying that I’m being insensitive, I’d like to tell you guys, my mother suffered cancer,” Pandey said.

“This unexpected turn of events, albeit startling, serves a greater purpose,” Pandey said in a statement to her Instagram. “While I do understand how you would have perceived this in bad taste, I also implore you to consider the greater cause.”

“Before passing judgment on the act, I urge you to recognize the alarming concern burdening women worldwide. The sheer lack of awareness surrounding this issue was the mere reason that compelled me to take this unconventional step.”

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