Jan. 21: A lovemaking scene between Farhan Akhtar and Aditi Rao Hydari that was found too steamy to make it to the final cut of Wazir is being cited in the Bollywood grapevine as the last straw that broke the actor-director's 16-year marriage with hair stylist Adhuna Bhabani.
The couple announced their separation today in a statement that sources in the film industry described as the formal burial of a long-dead relationship.
"The cracks began in 2011 when Farhan got involved with an assistant director while shooting Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Then, on the sets of Dil Dhadakne Do, every crew member was talking about his dalliance with a co-star... Adhuna was getting fed up... I think eventually with Wazir she threw in the towel," said a director who asked not to be named.
Born to a Bengali father and a British mother, Adhuna grew up in London and came to India for the first time after her father's death to meet his family in Calcutta.
She runs the dizzily successful BBlunt salons with her brother and has now launched a range of hair products by the same name.
Farhan, too, has grown phenomenally since he met Adhuna as an unemployed 25-year-old in 1997. She was six years his senior. They married in 2000 after three years of a live-in relationship. They have two daughters.
In 2001, Farhan made it big as director with Dil Chahta Hai, a film that acquired cult status. He had been working on the script even before he met Adhuna. She launched her career as Bollywood hair stylist with that film.
Adhuna is Farhan's second wife. After a much-talked-about affair with starlet Suman Ranganathan ended in 1995, he had a brief marriage with Riya Jain.
Bollywood gossip mills have been abuzz with rumours of the Farhan-Adhuna split for the past few months, after the Wazir sex scene was shot. "The scene was so sensuous and passionate that the filmmakers, including producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra, thought it would be appropriate to chop it at the editing table... it was not the censor board which ran its scissors over the scene. There was some discomfort with the scene," a source in the industry said.
Adhuna stopped accompanying Farhan to public events after this. Her absence was especially noted at three dos where she was expected.
"She was not there at the Wazir premiere or success party earlier this month. Then she was not there with Farhan at Hrithik Roshan's birthday on January 10 - Adhuna and Farhan are very close friends of Hrithik. She was also absent at Dabboo Ratnani's calendar launch party where the who's who of Bollywood descend," the source said.
The statement released by the couple today said: "This is to announce that we, Adhuna and Farhan, have mutually and amicably decided to separate. Our children remain our priority and it is immensely important to us, as responsible parents, that they be protected from unwarranted speculation and public glare. We sincerely request that we are given the privacy that is required at this time to move forward in a dignified manner."