Bollywood's blissfully happy couple Malaika and Arbaaz Khan's rather ugly tryst with advertising has left the family deeply affected. Hurt and angry, Arbaaz says he won't tolerate anything that affects his wife's image.
A rumour on the couple's break-up, a publicity stunt gone wrong, has upset Arbaaz's family which already has a child of controversy in Salman Khan.
"(Brother) Salman doesn't care what is written about him. I'm not that kind of guy. I'm very particular about the way I conduct myself, especially about my marriage. Suddenly, I find myself fighting a lonely battle to redeem my wife and my image," Arbaaz, who has been enjoying married life for the last 10 years, told IANS.
"In fact, my parents clearly said, 'If we knew you two were going to be part of such a gimmick, we'd have never allowed you.' I never thought I'd ever get into something that would turn so ugly," added Arbaaz.
To compound the Khans' problems, Ponds, which conceived and implemented the campaign, has completely washed its hands off the matter.
"It's not just my name that's affected, it's my wife's name too, and that I won't tolerate," Arbaaz said angrily.
"My wife and I have been called publicity hounds and our little child has also been dragged into the matter when all we did was to go along with the multinational's campaign. Is compliance a crime? Then we're guilty. And I apologise.
"I'm not the kind of guy who gets defensive after something goes wrong. And this situation has definitely gone wrong."
What Arbaaz cannot fathom is why a section of the media chose to highlight a false story.
"Neither Malaika nor I ever said we were splitting. It was the cosmetic company, which put out a yarn about me remarrying. From there, some mediapersons let their imagination run riot. Since when is our marriage a matter of front-page interest?"