Bollywood superstars Hrithik Roshan and Kangana Ranaut are locking horns in a legal battle over a love story (if at all there exists one).
According to some reports, Kangana’s friends stated that the duo was in a serious relationship, and Hrithik had even proposed marriage to the actress. Hrithik and his legal team, however, have dismissed these reports. They said that it was an imposter, who created an email id in Hrithik Roshan’s name, and misled her.
Recently, when Kangana talked about ‘silly exes’ on a TV show, Hrithik took strong exception to it and sent her a legal notice asking her to apologize. Kangana retorted by sending him another legal notice. Now, the case is getting murkier with Kangana being summoned to the police station to hand over her personal laptop.
New revelations are coming to the fore every day, and fans and media are utterly confused about whose side to take.
I met Hrithik for the first time two years after the success of the Bollywood blockbuster Kaho Na Pyar Hain. He arrived for the press conference of Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon two hours late. But as journalists, we were quite used to this because superstardom does strange things to people.
Hrithik, on the other hand, was quite the opposite of the superstar we were waiting to meet. He was the epitome of humility. He opened the door for us and answered our long list of questions, some straightforward, some controversial – with unbelievable simplicity and patience.
Hrithik had me floored that day in 2003 in Kolkata till I met him again in 2010 at a Bollywood awards ceremony in Dubai.
He was a different person. The genial man with the most ravishing smile had a body language that reeked of arrogance. Every question was answered with a get-on-with-it attitude. The answers were brief and he sounded disinterested and looked tired.
I have always liked Hrithik not because my first meeting with him was one of my best star experiences, or because I liked his work, but because he always said that his stardom was a result of team work—make-up artistes, light technicians, gym instructors and cameramen. Not many stars acknowledge the contribution of these people.
So I started looking for an explanation for Hrithik’s restlessness and I attributed it to stress, mood swings and later when I came to know about the troubles in his marriage I had thought I had found the reason for his behavior.
But right now what he has been doing with Kangana is a hit below the belt. It was Hrithik all along who has been making several nasty allegations about her, including her having Asperger’s Syndrome. Kangana, on the other hand, has tried her best to maintain her dignity.
An affair is nothing new for Hrithik
Hrithik and Sussanne, his ex-wife, have been childhood friends and were dating for sometime before they got married in 2000. Industry insiders say that there was a reason for the hurried marriage. Apparently Hrithik’s closeness with Kareena Kapoor during the shooting of Yaadein got Sussanne insecure. She wanted Hrithik to commit and he did. In 2003, Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon was the last film he did with Kareena because Sussanne did not want them to work together anymore.
Then came the rumors of his alleged affair with Mexican actress Barbara Mori during the shooting of Kites. If rumor mills are to be believed, his father, well-known producer-director Rakesh Roshan, had asked Sussanne to join them at the shooting because he was alarmed by the goings-on between Hrithik and Mori.
Although Hrithik had done two films with Kangana, Kites and Krissh 3, there weren’t any talk of an affair till recently when the legal battle took off. But another actress with whom he might have been pretty close to was Katrina Kaif. While shooting Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, people from the unit said that Hrithik and Katrina were often seen chatting and they would also often disappear from the location. But to give them the benefit of the doubt, such friendships do happen in Bollywood.
Hrithik used Sussanne to shut up the rumor mill
Sussanne had once shifted from their apartment into a five-star hotel and everyone started talking about the fissures that had appeared in their marriage because of Barbara.
A couple of days later Sussanne, who is otherwise media-shy, gave a long interview to a national newspaper saying all was well between them and she shifted because of termite control treatment going on in their house.
Looking back, we are forced to believe that maybe it was on Hrithik’s behest that she gave that interview because they were probably struggling to make things work then. Sussanne returned home after Barbara went back to Mexico but things were probably never the same after that.
Hrithik’s cold statement on the divorce
Instead of saying they decided to part ways, Hrithik’s official statement on their divorce released from Los Angeles said, “Sussanne has decided to separate from me and end our 17-year-long relationship.”
This way, he is clearly pointing fingers at his wife for their failed marriage. A report in Bombay Times clearly says that Sussanne was the one who felt alienated in the relationship because Hrithik was obsessed with his career and looks and spent less time with her. That’s why they kept leading separate lives.
When Mumbai Mirror approached Sussanne for a statement after their divorce in December 2013, she sent a text saying:
“We are two individuals who respect and care for each other and have made our individual choices. We are parents to two wonderful kids and our responsibility remains to protect and take care of them. Nothing can change that. I would appreciate if we are given our privacy in such a time.”
The statements go on to say a lot about the kind of people Hrithik and Sussanne are.
You can get away with anything
Ever since he got divorced, Hrithik has been partying and holidaying a lot and also trying to be a good father by spending time with his two sons.
He threw a huge bash on his birthday at the 34th floor of the Four Seasons Hotel in Worli, Mumbai. The noisy party continued till 3.30 am and repeated complaints from neighbors resulted in police slapping a fine of Rs 25,000 on the hotel for allowing loud music beyond the permitted time of 10pm.
Would a responsible, law abiding citizen behave thus unless he believes he can make the law work in his favor?
Amrita Mukherjee is a freelance journalist who writes on social issues in India with focus on women. She divides her time between Dubai and India and blogs at www.amritaspeaks.com
The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Asia Times.
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