Jeetendra turns 78: Did you know his wedding with Hema Malini was stopped by a drunk Dharmendra? | Bollywood - Hindustan Times

Jeetendra turns 78: Did you know his wedding with Hema Malini was stopped by a drunk Dharmendra?

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent
Apr 07, 2020 01:03 PM IST

If it were not for a drunk Dharmendra showing up, Jeetendra would have married Hema Malini.

Yesteryear superstar Jeetendra has been happily married to his childhood sweetheart Shobha Kapoor for more than four and a half decades. But did you know he almost got married to Hema Malini? In fact, their wedding was already underway in Chennai, when it was gatecrashed by a drunk Dharmendra.

Jeetendra and Hema Malini in a still from Qaidi.
Jeetendra and Hema Malini in a still from Qaidi.

As Jeetendra turns 78, let us revisit this lesser-known chapter from his life.

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According to Hema’s authorised biography Hema Malini: Beyond The Dream Girl, her parents were unhappy with her budding romance with the much-married Dharmendra. Her mother Jaya Chakravathy felt that the only solution was to get her married to someone else and thought of Jeetendra.

Though Jeetendra was said to have “had a soft corner for” Hema, they became close friends after she showed disinterest in pursuing a romantic relationship. Apparently, Dharmendra was not quite happy about this friendship and even stormed on to the sets of their film once.

Hema’s mother managed to convince her to meet Jeetendra’s parents, who were “ecstatic” about the match. He, too, agreed to marry her for his family’s happiness.

Jeetendra and Hema’s families reached Chennai for a hush-hush wedding but a newspaper got wind of it and splashed the news all over their front page. A shaken up Dharmendra joined forces with Jeetendra’s then girlfriend and now wife Shobha, and the two flew to Chennai to stop the nuptials.

When Dharmendra reached Hema’s house in Chennai, her father was furious and yelled at him to stay away from her as he was already married. Despite being repeatedly asked to leave, a slightly drunk Dharmendra refused to budge, and was eventually allowed to speak with Hema alone as everyone waited outside.

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“Inside the room, the two were going through an emotional turmoil of catastrophic proportions. Dharmendra, distraught and on the verge of falling to pieces, kept begging Hema not to make such a ‘big mistake’. Outside, it was Shobha’s turn to give vent to her rage. When a nonchalant Jeetendra announced to Shobha his decision to marry Hema, apparently all hell broke loose,” the book says.

Eventually, a visibly shaken Hema came out of the room and requested for some more time before going ahead with the wedding. However, Jeetendra and his parents were furious and at the end of their tether. They told her that she had to decide right away.

“As everyone waited desperately for an answer, Hema quietly shook her head. The insult was far too much for Jeetendra and he stormed out of the house with his parents,” the book says.

Jeetendra went on to marry Shobha on October 18, 1974. They have two children - producer Ekta Kapoor and actor Tusshar Kapoor. Hema, on the other hand, married Dharmendra on August 21, 1979. They have two daughters - actor Esha Deol and Ahana Deol.

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