Theirs was one of the most talked-about romantic alliances of Bollywood in recent times. Right from 2005, when they started dating each other to the end of their fairytale romance in 2009, Preity Zinta and Ness Wadia grabbed many eyeballs.
Their union seemed tailor-made — while on the one hand was Preity, riding high on the success of films such as Dil Chahta Hai, Kal Ho Naa Ho and Veer-Zaara, on the other was Ness, who was taking forward Wadia group’s legacy, started by his father, Nusli Wadia.
Though initialliy, the two kept their relationship under wraps, in February 2005, Preity opened up about it. In a press interview, she said, “I’ve just started dating”.
March 2007: Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur’s now ex-wife Suchitra Krishnamoorthi blamed Preity for her broken marriage, accusing her of estranging Kapur. In response, Preity called Suchitra, ‘unstable’.
2008: Preity and Ness became co-owners of Kings XI Punjab.
April 2009: News reports suggest that a sloshed Ness slapped Preity at a party, in front of her friends.
2009: The two decided to split but kept mum on what led to the separation.
April 2012: Preity confirmed being friends with Ness, saying: "When you date someone for that long how can you not be friends? But we’re not best friends... If something ever went wrong he’d stand by me and vice versa."
May 2013: In a magazine interview, Preity revealed that she was the one to walk out of the relationship.
June 12, 2014: Preity files a police complaint against Ness.
After the declaration, the couple made many lovey-dovey public appearances. In fact, in 2006, Ness threw a surprise birthday bash for Preity, which was attended by some of the biggest names from Bollywood, including Shah Rukh Khan, Karan Johar and Abhishek Bachchan.
However, the first bump in the road came in March 2007, when filmmaker Shekhar Kapur’s now ex-wife Suchitra Krishnamoorthi blamed Preity for breaking her marriage. Preity denied this allegation. Later, In an interview, she even said that she was dating Ness at the time.
In April 2007, Ness and Preity looked very much in love as they walked in hand-in-hand to attend Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai’s wedding in Mumbai. The couple’s relationship took another leap in 2008 when they decided to co-own the Punjab team of the Indian Premier League.
However, around this time, reports surfaced suggesting Ness’s mom, Maureen, wasn’t happy with their union. She even went on record to say: “I don’t care even if Ness gets married to a zebra”.
The chinks in the armour became wider when in April 2009, unconfirmed reports suggested that Ness slapped Preity at a party.
Soon, breakup reports started doing the rounds. Though their split was much publicised, the two stayed mum about it. Post the breakup, Preity’s film career hit rock-bottom.
In 2013, she hoped to hit headlines for her maiden production venture, Ishkq in Paris, but the film sank without a trace. In May 2013, in a magazine interview, Preity talked about her breakup for the first time.
The actor revealed that it was she who walked out of the relationship, and clarified that Maureen wasn’t behind the split. She even said: ‘Today, Ness and I are still partners in our IPL team... we are friends.”