Back in the day, Aap Jaisa Koi diva Zeenat Aman was every man's dream girl. Regrettably, her choice of one partner transformed her life forever.
Sanjay Khan, who was married with three children when he fell in love with Zeenat on the sets of their film Abdullah, didn’t treat the original Don diva too well, to say the least.
A story in Cine Blitz dating back to 1980 details how Sanjay beat Zeenat black and blue at a five-star hotel in Mumbai, in the presence of several onlookers who did not lift a finger to help her. It all started when the starlet was shooting in Lonavala, reports India Today. Sanjay called her up from Mumbai and angrily demanded that she leave everything and reshoot a portion of a song in Abdullah that had already been shot. When she reasoned that she had already given her dates to another film, he accused her of being sexually involved with the other film-makers.
An exasperated Zeenat left straight for his house, where she was told that he was attending a party at the Taj Hotel. She reached the hotel to discuss her dates, at which point the "atmosphere suddenly turned cold and menacing." An intoxicated Sanjay asked her why she had come to the hotel, while his wife Zarine sneered.
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It was at this point that Zarine entered and began cheering her husband on. "Give the bitch what she deserves," she shouted, as she started attacking Zeenat as well.
All the guests knew what was happening; yet no one helped her. It was the steward who came to Zeenat's rescue, who by now had blood and tears streaming down her face. Even as she required eight days of medical attention to recover from this beating, she did not report Sanjay to the police, as she was still in love with him.
Her doctor revealed to the noted publication, "This is not the first time this man has beaten her. Once before she was given a black eye and kicked in the ribs so hard that I insisted on an X-Ray for fear of a crack."
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Not just the love of her life, Sanjay was in fact Zeenat’s husband. The two had wed in Jaisalmer in 1978, a marriage that lasted less than a year. Many had warned Zeenat against it since Sanjay was already a married man with three kids, but she defended him fiercely, stating time and again, "I love this man. Don't you understand? I will back his every move and will make him a king one day."
Turns out, Sanjay is now coming out with a biography titled My Best Mistakes, and it is said that it may shed spotlight on his daughter Sussanne Khan's separation from Hrithik Roshan in it as well.
But audiences are most interested in his roaring affair with Zeenat. All his - as well as Zeenat’s - fans want a clarification from his side on the much-talked about incident where he and his wife apparently beat Zeenat so seriously that she lost much of her vision in one eye.
Rumour has it that both Sanjay and Zeenat were immensely drawn to each other during the shoot of their film, and Sanjay with all his three kids - Farah, Simonne and Sussanne, growing up, not only was involved in a full-fledged affair with Zeenat.
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Reportedly, Zeenat had admitted in an interview of a ‘nikkah’. “Yes, I was married to Abbas (Sanjay's real name). I believed in the sanctity of my marriage. And all the time I was married to him, I have served him as a dutiful wife.”
Zeenat was also once quoted saying, "I was very naive and vulnerable at that time. It was a few weeks of madness, that's it," reported Yahoo! India.
Life was never the same for Zeenat after this thrashing as she consequently lost a substantial amount of vision in one eye.
But Zarine who was pregnant with son Zayed during the late 70s gave a different story to Filmfare. “It came as a shock. I went through much emotional turmoil when I was carrying Zayed,” she confided. “But I had self-confidence. I’d wear six inch heels in the ninth month of my pregnancy just to be stylish, just to keep up a brave front but I was completely heartbroken. I then took to interior designing,” she confessed.
To prevent her home from breaking, Zarine revealed, “I threw a tantrum and gave Sanjay an ultimatum that I’d walk out. That’s when things returned to normalcy. Maybe it was just ‘a mad wind’ that blew over,” she said. However, the tempestuous affair ended after the violent altercation at Taj Hotel.
“The media was unfair to him. They unnecessarily attacked Abbas. They made him out to be the evil one,” Zarine defended her husband. “Now, looking back, I feel so bad. I even said hello to her (Zeenat). Today she’s happy, I am happy, life has moved on, it’s over!”
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