Scandal Flashback: The Tina Munim-Rajesh Khanna Affair

Scandal Flashback: The Tina Munim-Rajesh Khanna Affair

This stormy love story was not meant to last
Scandal Flashback: The Tina Munim-Rajesh Khanna Affair
Rajesh and Tina worked in over 10 films together

Rajesh Khanna

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IN THE 70s AND 80s, every girl in India was crazy about Rajesh Khanna (fondly called Kaka), Bollywood’s first bonafide superstar. The man himself was an enigma and was as known for his relationships as he was for his movies. He was deeply involved with Anju Mahendru but broke up with her and got married to young Dimple Kapadia, who had become a superstar herself after Bobby. Unfortunately, this relationship too didn’t last long though that didn’t dent his popularity among his huge fan following.  

Among his millions of female fans was the gorgeous Tina Munim who had made a name for herself as a young, hot and sought-after actress in the late 70s. Back then, she was dating Sanjay Dutt though she was an ardent admirer of Rajesh Khanna. Of course she never had an inkling that one day she would get linked with him but fate had different plans!

It’s said that when Sanjay took to substance abuse after the release of his debut, Rocky, Tina found it difficult to handle him. Despite her best efforts, Sanjay was in no mood to sober up and that’s when she allegedly realised that they weren’t meant to be.

Fresh out of a relationship, Tina decided the best way to go was to concentrate on her career. In fact, rumour has it that during her relationship with Sanjay, she rejected hit movies such as Love Story and Ek Duje Ke Liye. In the early ‘80s, filmmakers started approaching Tina again with big projects and she knew that she had to make the most of it. Among the films offered, there were a few that paired her with megastar Rajesh Khanna. Tina was naturally ecstatic about being Rajesh Khanna’s heroine. They worked in films like Fifty Fifty and Sauten, both of which were blockbusters. Thus started the great professional and personal union that lasted through 11 films. 

It was a known fact that Rajesh Khanna liked to court much younger women. Quite like Dimple, the age difference between Tina and him was also a glaring 15 years. However, that didn’t stop Tina from falling head over heels in love with the first superstar of the country. 

During that time, rumours were rife that Kaka and Dimple Kapadia’s marital life was shaky. In a few years, the couple separated. Insiders say during the break-up of his marriage, Tina provided the much-needed support. In an interview, Kaka admitted, “I married Dimple on the rebound and Tina was a balm on my wounds.” Strangely enough, in the initial stages of the Tina-Kaka relationship, Dimple and she befriended each other. Dimple would go on Kaka’s outdoor shoots and bond with Tina. Of course, she had no clue that Tina would eventually get involved with her husband! 

Tina and Rajesh allegedly started getting close while shooting for their movies. And after Dimple moved out, their relationship deepened. After dating for a while, Tina apparently moved into Rajesh’s palatial bungalow, a rather bold step those days. 

Everything was going well between Tina and Kaka who had become inseparable. Kaka played the perfect boyfriend who made sure that Tina was comfortable, even gifting her expensive gifts like jewellery and customised cars. The duo never hid their relationship either; in fact, they were very candid about it. In an interview, Tina admitted that Kaka and she were so close that they even shared the same toothbrush! A lot of people, especially scribes even saw Tina dressed in Kaka’s favourite garb – a silk kurta and lungi. 

However, tina wasn’t just happy to share Kaka’s home and his clothes, she apparently wanted something more – his surname. A few years into the relationship, Tina allegedly started demanding that Rajesh marry her but the only way to achieve this was if Kaka divorced Dimple. Reportedly, Kaka gave Tina false hopes but she soon realised that he wasn’t ever going to divorce his first wife. Tina didn’t want to stick around and play second fiddle for long. And that’s when she decided to take the hard decision of leaving him. 

Insiders say Rajesh was shocked and he begged her not to go, but her mind was made up. As a goodbye gift, Tina allegedly made copies of 20 of his best films, and packaged them in velvet covers with the titles in gold thread. 

Though Tina remained tightly guarded about Kaka, in a rare interview, she admitted, “Kaka was incapable of loving anyone. He was only ever in love with himself!”  After breaking up with Rajesh, Tina moved to California briefly to attend college. In 1992, she married Anil Ambani. Rajesh continued to work in films and was linked to a few women in the subsequent years. However, he could never regain his lost glory on screen. 

Rajesh Khanna: Rajesh Khanna breathed his last on July 18, 2012. He is survived by his wife, Dimple and two daughters, Rinki and Twinkle.
Tina Munim: She is happily married to Anil Ambani and they have two sons. She is involved with many charities.
Dimple: Dimple gave a great performance in Finding Fanny last year and this year she will be seen in Welcome Back.