Farhan-Adhuna, Hrithik-Sussanne: The anatomy of a Bollywood divorce

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 22, 2016 13:09 IST
Farhan Akhtar with wife Adhuna (right), sister Zoya and his children. Farhan and Adhuna announced their separation on Thursday after 16 years of marriage.

Divorces in themselves are a difficult time for a couple – how to deal with the slow death of a relationship, their life beyond and how to communicate it to friends and family. If children are involved, things are far more complicated.

But when a celeb heads for separation and subsequent divorce, Farhan and Adhuna Akhtar being the duo in the spotlight at present, they have other issues to deal with: How to tell the world, how to keep their privacy and how to keep it dignified in the face of so much scrutiny. Social media makes the job so much more difficult as it is much harder to keep a lid on facts or to stop gossip from spreading once the news is out in the world.

Read: Farhan, Adhuna announce their divorce, request privacy

Thanks to spin doctors and relationship experts, the new-age celeb couples have some avenues available. Instead of letting it all hang out in print and on TV where their relationship will be discussed in lurid detail, they prefer to shock and awe.

Before rumours rear their ugly head, they come out with a dignified statement saying, yes, we are going our separate ways and ,yes, we demand privacy. Beyond that, children are mentioned, responsible co-parenting is promised and forever friendship professed.

Some statements are highly sentimental (Hrithik Roshan), others very to-the-point (Konkona Sen Sharma), some sound still hopeful (Anurag Kashyap) while others simply take it in their stride (Pooja Bhatt). But the statements have become de rigueur over the years. We focus on the recent divorces in Bollywood and whether personal lives stayed personal or unraveled publicly.

Farhan Akhtar-Adhuna Akhtar: Considered one of the strongest Bollywood marriages, multi-hyphenated Farhan Akhtar and his hair stylist wife Adhuna announced their divorce on Thursday. The couple, that has two daughters together, left people in shock as they cited “growing apart over years” as the reason for them parting ways. Unsubstantiated buzz is already talking about the role of an unnamed actress but the reticent couple is not commenting.

Hrithik Roshan-Sussanne Khan: Love at first sight, fairytale wooing and a big, fat celeb wedding. All was well with Hrithik Roshan and Sussanne’s world with two angelic kids in tow too. That is till Hrithik dropped the bomb in a heartfelt note which said Sussanne had decided that they should divorce. Some called it putting the blame entirely on wife, others called Hrithik ever the gentleman for saying he was the one dropped. Media headlines went in frenzy, naming names and quoting mammoth alimony figures. The couple, however, opted to stay quiet and do it with dignity. Divorce followed in 2014.

Anurag Kashyap-Kalki Koechlin: A joint statement is what Anurag Kashyap and Kalki Koechlin favoured when they told the world that they were separating after a little more than two years of marriage: “Me and Kalki are separating, we are taking time off from each other to figure things out. We are not divorcing. We request the media to please respect our privacy and give us our space and not speculate. Thank you, Kalki and Anurag”. A divorce, however, followed as did speculation about significant others in their lives.

Konkona Sen Sharma-Ranveer Shorey: Konkona and Ranveer called it quits after five years of marriage with mirror statements on their respective Twitter accounts: “We have mutually decided to separate, but continue to be friends and co-parent our son. Will appreciate your support. Thank you.” The couple has a son together, Haroon.

Pooja Bhatt-Manish Makhija: Actor-director Pooja Bhatt ended her 11-year-old marriage to Manish Makhija with this Twitter message: “To all those who care and especially those that don’t my husband Munna and me have decided to part ways after 11 glorious years of marriage. Our split as some might call it is amicable and we hold each other in the highest esteem for now and forever.” Always one to live life on her own terms, Pooja was clear about doing it with mutual respect.

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