Jerrit John had filed for a divorce five days before he attacked Aryanka Hosbetkar, a 26-year-old physiotherapist who he threw a hazardous chemical on at her Worli residence last week.
The 44-year-old was arrested on Saturday from a hotel in Nallasopara, where he was hiding.
In his confession on Sunday, John said that he had filed for a divorce on November 2, which Hosbetkar had known about. John claimed that she had stopped talking to him after that and he felt deceived by her, the police said.
John, who has been married for about eight years and has a five-year-old son, owns a production house in Bandra (West).
"John told us that after he had filed for divorce, Hosbetkar stopped talking to him. This did not go down well with him," said Dhananjay Kulkarni, deputy commissioner of police (zone 5). He added that the police were verifying his claims. John had bought the chemical on Tuesday last week, a night before the incident and the attack seemed premeditated, added Kulkarni.
The Dadar police also said that Aryanka had come to know that John was also seeing another woman, after which she sent him an email saying that she no longer wants to be in touch with him. Soon after that, John landed up at her Worli home late on Wednesday night last week with a bottle of the chemical and flung it on her face. The bottle has been sent for testing to the forensic science laboratory.
A member of John's family, who did not want to be named, claimed, "Aryanka had counselled John to get a divorce and also told him that she would take care of his son after that. However, soon after he filed for divorce at the Thane court on November 2, Aryanka stopped interacting with him." Aryanka, who was discharged from PD Hinduja hospital in Mahim on Thursday, is now staying at a friend's place and could not be contacted.
The family friend said that John had parted ways with his family for her, and when she also refused to talk with him, it greatly disturbed him.
Soon after attacking Aryanka, John had gone to the residence of a Borivli-based woman, who John believed, was the reason Aryanka was not talking to him. Police suspect that John may have gone to attack her as well but she did not open the door as Aryanka had asked her friend to alert this woman, while she was being taken to hospital. The family member added, "I questioned John about the Borivli woman and he told us that he had gone there to confront her and not attack her." The Dadar police have so far not recorded the statement of the Borivli- based woman.
The Dadar police have also started recording statements of the eyewitnesses and are gathering evidence in the case. John, who was presented before the Bhoiwada holiday court, has been remanded to police custody till Friday.