| Shweta Tiwari
Mumbai, June 20: Actress Shweta Tiwari, Prerna of Kasautii Zindagi Kay to television viewers, has filed for divorce.
Her husband Raja Chaudhary has confirmed that he received a divorce notification from Shweta’s lawyer soon after she filed a police complaint against him.
Shweta lodged non-cognisable complaints on June 15 and 16 against her husband of seven years at Malad police station, citing physical abuse.
The actress has been silent since then, but some of her industry friends spoke about her plight on condition of anonymity.
Sources close to Shweta said Raja was violent, jealous and insecure and that she had been tolerating the harassment for the past two years because of her seven-year-old daughter Palak. Shweta, now staying with her aunt, blamed Raja’s heavy drinking for the decline in their relationship.
Raja fought with her often over her hectic schedule and blamed her for not giving him and their daughter enough time.
Believed to be a chain smoker and a heavy drinker, Raja has a liver ailment that led to the couple’s withdrawal from the TV dance show Nach Baliye-2.
Raja denied the allegations of physical abuse, but said: “If she (Shweta) wants a divorce, she will have it. I will not even fight for the custody of my child.”
“I don’t know how all this happened,” he said.
“We had been on a holiday to Lonavala just last week. On Saturday, she returned from her shoot with her lawyer and her friend from Balaji (Telefilms), Saket, and asked me to go to Malad police station with them. I couldn’t even talk to her,” Raja claimed.
“They kept saying I was drunk. I don’t understand. If I was really harassing her, shouldn’t she have gone to the cops earlier'”
Sources on the sets of Kasautii, however, painted a different picture of Raja, who said he “still loves his wife”.
“Raja has been on the sets and even shouted at Shweta a couple of times in full view of other actors. He always wanted to take control of the situation and as his wife achieved success, his temper got worse,” a source said.
In 2005, actress Dolly Bindra filed a sexual harassment case against Raja after his alleged misbehaviour at a party thrown by actor Anuj Saxena. At that time, Shweta defended her husband to the surprise of most industry insiders. They thought their relationship had already deteriorated by then.
Saket Sawney of Balaji Telefilms, who had accompanied the couple to the police station, refused to elaborate.
“Yes, I was there when Shweta filed the complaint, but there’s nothing more to say. The matter is sub-judice and I don’t think it’s appropriate to comment on it,” he said.
This is not the first time an actress has had to pay the price for her success.
Actress Usha Bachani, a known face in serials like Kkusum and Ek Ladki Anjani Si, gave up acting at the peak of her career for marriage in 2000.
But in 2002, she walked out of the marriage saying her husband beat her under the influence of alcohol.
The most high-profile case was the alleged harassment that Aishwarya Rai in the hands of her former boyfriend Salman Khan.
Aishwarya’s parents, too, had lodged a complaint against Salman after he allegedly threatened them and broke windowpanes at their home.