Mumbai, April 6: Aishwarya Rai ended even her professional relations with Salman Khan by declaring she would “not work with him any more”.
In a statement issued from her hospital bed, the actress described the Salman chapter as a “nightmare”, speaking for the first time about a private relationship that has been the subject of unending media speculation.
“For the sake of my well-being, my sanity, my dignity and self-respect of my family — enough! I will not work with Mr Salman Khan,” she said.
The immediate provocation for the declaration seems to be continuing rumours about her acting in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani, for which Salman has been signed.
She said she wanted to end the speculation. “I have been wrongly projected as agreeing to work with Mr Salman Khan.”
Aishwarya made the blockbuster Devdas with Bhansali. It was also the Bhansali movie Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, during whose shooting her relations with Salman reportedly blossomed.
She admitted that she has had a “fabulous relationship” with Bhansali, but revealed that in the very first meeting with the director on Bajirao she had made it clear that she would not star with Salman.
“Since the past two months, I have categorically declined to work with Mr Salman Khan.”
A public declaration vowing not to work with a colleague is perhaps unprecedented in Bollywood, but it’s clear Aishwarya took this unusual step to draw the curtain firmly down on an unhappy episode of her life.
“The Salman Khan chapter was a nightmare in my life and I am thankful to God that it is over,” she told PTI.
“I have maintained a dignified silence about him and his wrongdoings,” Aishwarya said.
“I stood by him, enduring his alcoholic misbehaviour, in (the) worst phases and in turn I was at the receiving end of his abuse (verbal, physical and emotional), infidelity and indignity. That is why like any other self-respecting woman, I had ended my relationship with him almost two years ago,” she added.
Explaining why she broke her silence, Aishwarya said Salman, his family and friends had “time and again tried to wreck my peace and sanity, both personally and professionally”.