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We are still together

Azharuddin reacts to the news of a split between him and his actress wife of 14-years, Sangeeta Bijlani, owing to his alleged affair with 26-year old Badminton player Jwala Gutta.

entertainment Updated: Jul 25, 2010 01:05 IST
Navdeep Kaur Marwah
Navdeep Kaur Marwah
Hindustan Times

The news of a split between cricketer turned Member of Parliament Mohammad Azharuddin and his actress wife of 14-years, Sangeeta Bijlani, owing to Azhar’s alleged affair with 26-year old Badminton player Jwala Gutta, has been the talking point of one and all. HT City spoke to Azharuddin to set the record straight.

Rubbish and disgusting
“This speculation about trouble in my married life is completely rubbish, baseless and disgusting. I am so upset. Log dusron ke gharon mein jhaanknein se pehle apne ghar mein kyon nahi dekhte? (People should look into their homes before casting aspersions on others). I’m very hurt,” he said. On his association with Jwala, he said, “I’ve known Jwala for many years. She’s a friend and will always be. I have many friends but does that mean that I am going around with them? Why spoil a lady’s reputation? Just leave her alone.”

Azhar- JwalaMotivated allegations

Azhar also hinted that these stories have been planted by people in the Badminton Association of India, who want to tarnish his image since he tried to contest for the presidents’ elections last month. He says, "These are planted stories and motivated by people, who are against me in the Badminton Association of India. They are so upsetting."

Talking about his wife Sangeeta’s reaction to the controversy, he says, “ She is obviously very disturbed and so is everyone who is our well wisher.” When we asked her if we could speak to Sangeeta who is right now living with her mother in Mumbai, he said, “She will also say the same. The story is just false.”

The couple’s close family friend Delhi based socialite Ammu Saidi also expressed shocked at the news. She said, “This is just ridiculous. There is no truth in the story about their split. Azhar is in Delhi because he is an MP and has work here. Sangeeta has always spent 15 days in Delhi and 15 days in Mumbai and that doesn’t mean there is a problem. In fact Azhar was with her in Mumbai for her birthday on July 9”

Azharuddin played 99 Tests and 334 ODIs for India and has two sons – Asaduddin and Abbasuddin – from his eight-year marriage to first wife Naureen. After his divorce with Naureen, he married actress Sangeeta Bijlani.

Azhar and I are just family friends: Jwala Gutta
Shuttler Jwala Gutta who is being touted as the reason behind Azharuddin and Sangeeta Bijlani split, is also pissed off at the controversy. “I am shocked… I have known Azhar for the past eight years and we are family friends. All reports about our affair are rubbish and totally false,” Jwala told HT City.

When asked if it is true that the BMW that she drives is supposedly a gift from Azhar, she said “No it’s not true.” She added her marriage with her husband and India’s ace shuttler, Chetan Anand, is going strong. “Chetan and I are very much together and not living separately.”

Minakshi Saini
Inputs from PTI

First Published: Jul 24, 2010 16:12 IST