Mallika Sherawat’s Marriage Controversy
The details about Mallika Sherawat’s murky past including her divorce
Ever since she made waves in the skin-fest Murder in 2004, Mallika Sherawat has been controversy’s favourite child. If there is anyone who knows how to be in the news and grab headlines, it’s her. In the last decade or so Mallika has reinvented herself quite remarkably – first as a sex symbol, then as a Hollywood wannabe (she still makes it to the red carpet at Cannes) and now as a reality show queen. But bold and brash Mallika also has a past she would perhaps not like to revisit – a doomed marriage and some myths she fed the media during her initial years. Masala! exposes the real Mallika Sherawat.
HER FIRST MARRIAGE
Bollywood has always preferred single actresses to married ones which is possibly the reason why Mallika decided to hide one important aspect of her life when she decided to enter Bollywood – her marriage to a Delhi-based Jet Airways pilot Captain Karan Singh Gill and her subsequent divorce from him. Though she made waves in the industry with her first film Khwaish (which was in the news for 17 kissing scenes) and later, Murder, it was only around 2009 that her secret past was exposed. In an interview to a leading film magazine, Mallika’s former mother-in-law, Mrs Gill, broke her silence and spoke about the actress. Mrs Gill said, “She (Mallika) always had thoughts of becoming rich and famous. She married my son Karan because she was in love with him but married life wasn’t made for her. So she decided to walk out of the marriage and lead an independent lifestyle.”
A Dodgy Past
Mallika’s past is still pretty blurry. Her original name is Reena Lamba and she had graduated from Delhi Public School and Miranda House. Thereafter she worked briefly as an air-hostess before she married Karan. Though she had always claimed in her interviews that she came from a small town and had to suffer a lot because in her family women were treated badly, the truth was something else. Mallika (Reena) belonged to a fairly well off family and was quite educated. Insiders say, there was nothing wrong in her marriage too but Mallika was ambitious and wanted more out of her life. It was her behaviour and independent nature that created problems for her and her in-laws. As Mrs Gill said in the interview, “We wanted a girl who was modern but at the same time, someone who would understand the needs of the family too. But her dreams were different.”
Was marriage an escape?
People who knew Mallika back then in Delhi claimed that she was initially looking for a man in her life, thanks to the upheaval in her own family life. She was close to her mother Santosh and her brother Vikram but had strained relations with her father Mr Lamba, a government official hailing from Rohtak in Haryana who later shifted to Delhi for better opportunities. According to sources, he gave his family the best that he could afford but Mallika was looking for more. Not only did she disconnect from her father emotionally, she decided to follow her heart and become an actress. A close friend of the Lambas says, “Reena (Mallika) thought she was set for life when she met and married Karan Singh Gill. Not only was doing well as a pilot with Jet Airways, she was also in love with him. Karan is a very decent man and Reena needed stability in her life.” But the need for stability soon turned to the need for ambition and she moved on from Karan. The differences between them became too much to handle and she finally walked out. The actress started modelling in Delhi until her divorce came through and then she shifted
Her ex husband too moved on in life and remarried. However he never spoke to the press about his life with Mallika. Despite the best attempts to hide details from her Delhi days, somehow the news about her past got leaked and Mallika’s lies were exposed. Even her mentor Mahesh Bhatt (who gave her a big break in Murder) said, “I had told Mallika that she should tell the world about her marriage. People are bound to find out anyway.”
SEEKING FAME THROUGH LIES
Mallika was perhaps affected by the sensational revelations about her marriage but she didn’t let them affect her rise in Bollywood. After appearing in TV commercials with Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan, she attained stardom with superhits like Murder (2004). She was also nominated for the Best Actress at the Zee Cine Awards. Though she wasn’t even a decent actress, she knew how to be newsworthy. Thus came her reinvention as the ultimate sex symbol who didn’t hesitate to strip for glory. Over and above this she gave juicy interviews in which she made shocking comments and gave scandalous quotes which ensured that the spotlight was always on her.
In 2005, she appeared in a Chinese film, The Myth, with Jackie Chan – a two minute role which she milked to maximum effect. In 2006, she starred in Pyaar Ke Side Effects which was a moderate success at the box-office and in 2007, she did a song Mayya Mayya for the Abhishek Bachchan-Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan starrer film, Guru. Mallika also knew how to make money. For instance, she also did a guest role in Aap Ka Suroor – The Real Love Story for which she apparently charged Rs15 million for a 10-minute appearance! Though her subsequent films like Welcome (hit) and Ugly Aur Pagli and Maan Gaye Mughal-e-Azam (flops) kept her in the news, she didn’t make much of an impact. That’s when she decided to move bag and baggage to Hollywood where she did some forgettable films like Hisss and the yet-to-release comedy Politics of Love.