British tabloid Sunday People recently published images of billionaire art collector Charles Saatchi throttling his wife, celebrity chef Nigella Lawson, in public after a heated argument in a restaurant. Nigella has now reportedly left her marital home after the images were made public. The incident brings to light the uglier side of stardom.
In Bollywood too, there have been cases of public spats among star couples which have made it to the covers of glossy magazines and newspaper headlines. Zeenat Aman and Sanjay Khan was one such couple whose tumultuous relationship became fodder for the media. It was reported by a magazine that the actor was thrashed at a party while none of the guests came to her help. Psychiatrist Harish Shetty explains this kind of behaviour, especially among men, saying, “Men find it safe to hit women as most don’t protest. They vent out their frustration in this way. It’s easier to hit a spouse or parent, than their neighbour or servant.”
Glossies have also reported in the past of a livid Salman Khan hitting Somy Ali on her head with a bottle when they were dating in the ’90s. Few years ago, reports of an angry Aditya Pancholi launching into a tirade of angry words against Kangana Ranaut were also widely talked about. Apparently, she was travelling by an auto-rickshaw when he stopped her and asked her to get into his car. After the argument, it was reported that Aditya slapped her.
Psychologist Mansi Hassan explains the deliberate silence of women in such situations saying, “Women are emotionally vulnerable in a relationship and bear the brunt of it. Also, if the man has been with a woman who might have put up with it in the past, they assume they will understand.”
Shetty sums the issue up with an interesting observation. He believes that such cases are only in the limelight because of the high-profile profession of the victims. “Had it happened to you or me, it wouldn’t have attracted such attention. Celebrities are always in the limelight, and anything they do is intensely scrutinised. The world is angrier than before,” he says.
Abuse is inexcusable and a punishable crime: Zeenat Aman
In an earlier interview to HT Café, Zeenat Aman spoke about domestic violence. The actor said, “It’s inexcusable and a punishable crime. There is nothing further to say about it. The victim in an abusive relationship has to speak up. She needs to tell someone in the family or an authority in the family about it. If that doesn’t work, she must seek social counsellors or someone who can intervene. Unless your voice is heard, no one will be able to help you.”
(With inputs from ANI)