New Delhi: Sonali Bendre's 'high grade cancer' diagnosis came as a rude shock to entire Bollywood, including director Omung Kumar, who was co-judging reality show "India's Best Dramebaaz" alongside the actor.
The revelation led to Bendre's exit from the show, which also has actor Vivek Oberoi in the jury. She is currently undergoing treatment in New York.
Kumar says he knew that something was off when a shoot got cancelled and Bendre had to travel abroad but he never thought that it would be cancer.
"Basically, we didn't not know it earlier because she was doing the show. Even she didn't know that something this drastic had happened. One of the shoots got cancelled because she had to go abroad for a second opinion. We came to know about the second opinion but didn't know what it was. It was like a lump in the throat feeling," the filmmaker told PTI.
"Until it was announced in the media, we did not know about it. So it was a shock for us," he added.
Bendre, who was replaced by actor Huma Quershi on the show, received love and support from her colleagues from the film fraternity.
On July 4, the actor had said in an emotional statement on Twitter that the cancer metastised which "we frankly did not see coming."
The 43-year-old actor has said she taking this battle head on, "knowing I have the strength of my family and friends behind me. There is no better way to tackle this, than to take swift and immediate action... We remain optimistic and I am determined to fight every step of the way."