iconimg Saturday, August 29, 2015

Neha Sharma, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, July 21, 2012
She went from being an unknown entity to a headline maker overnight. Now, Anita Advani, late actor Rajesh Khanna’s live-in partner for eight years, says that her legal notice was directed at him, not his family.

“He (Khanna) shunned and abandoned me in his last days. After doing so much for him for 10 years, I could not take it lying down. My legal notice was to him,” says the 50-year-old.

Hinting at his family’s involvement, she says, “His family treated me really badly and did not let me see him. I’m not sure if they took advantage of him being so weak, but I can’t understand how a person can be something one day and then turn 180 degrees the next,” she says.

Admitting that she’s completely shattered, she denies allegations that she wants Khanna’s property, estimated to be worth Rs. 200 crore. “I do not want Aashirwad (the name of his bungalow). It was his dream that it be turned into a museum, I also want that to happen,” she says, and adds, “He and I were in a relationship. I gave 10 years of my life to him and never asked for anything. But now, when everyone turned against me, I am devastated. I feel stripped.”

Rajesh Khanna and Anita Advani

It all started in June, she says. “He would say that he is not feeling well. I didn’t know what was happening. Dimple (Kapadia) suddenly did not allow me to enter the house,” she says.

“Even the day he was cremated, Akshay did not let me climb on the truck with his body. He said, ‘Anitaji, yeh sirf family ke liye hai.’ Where were they for the last 10 years? Just by having a piece of paper, you don’t become family. I have nurtured and loved him for 10 years. Just because I don’t have a piece of paper, I am not family?”

Rajesh Khanna with Anita Advani