Long before the #MeToo movement started, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan opened up about her abusive relationship with Salman Khan to the world.
Last year in October Aishwarya was asked about the the #MeToo movement to which see replied, “I have always spoken out, I spoke in the past, I am speaking now, and I will continue to speak.”
Back in the years when the #MeToo movement didn’t exist, Aishwarya bravely came out about her abusive relationship with boyfriend Salman Khan. Tanushree Dutta might have taken the portent of #MeToo movement ahead but it is Aishwarya who carved the way for women to speak up about their stories.
Aishwarya Rai has been an icon to young girls since she won the title of Miss World in 1994. The actor has always proved why she’s a good role model. The fact that she spoke up against one of the biggest names in Bollywood, Salman Khan proofs how brave and fierce she is.
The actor is now married to Junior Bachchan and has a lil munchkin, Aaradhya. From her Bollywood comeback after having a child to walking international red carpets, this beauty has proved yet again that she’s an icon.
This throwback Thursday let’s look at the statements Aishwarya has made against Salman Khan
1. Let’s talk about how it all began
Their relationship came to light during the shooting of 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam'. However, the two reportedly started dated back in 1997. Infact some reports even suggest that it was Salman who recommended Aishwarya’s name for the movie. Salman dated Somy Ali before Aishwarya Rai.
According to a magazine, it was Somy Ali who dumped Salman Khan after she got to know about his and Aishwarya’s affair. An article published in Stardust (magazine) during that time claimed that Somy Ali moved to the US after her break up with Salman.
Aishwarya and Salman came closer after this and she even developed a good rapport with Salman’s family.
The green-eyed beauty rebelled against her parents for Salman. She moved out into a separate apartment in Lokhandwala's Gorakh Hill Tower (in Andheri, north-west Mumbai), Author Biswadeep Ghosh claimed in his 2004 book 'Hall of Fame, Aishwarya Rai'.
2. Salman’s PDA: Public display of anger
The cupcake phase was over and now Salman and Aishwarya’s relationship had started to get toxic. In 2001, an incident occurred where Salman visited Aishwarya’s apartment in the night and banged the door until his hands bled. Aishwarya finally had to give in and let him in.
According to sources Salman was furious because Aishwarya was at the peak of her career and wasn’t keen on settling down just yet. Salman wanted to marry her but she just wasn’t ready.
In 2002, in an interview to The Times Of India Salman confirmed that the incident did happen.
He said,"The incident is true, but it was overhyped by the media. I have a relationship with Aishwarya. If you do not fight in a relationship, it means you do not love each other. Why would I squabble with a person who is a stranger to me? Such things happen between us only because we love each other. Now, even the police have barred me from entering that building."
3. Aishwarya graces the red carpet with a purple eye
Aishwarya’s Cannes look took social media by storm, however her look from the 2002 Filmfare left fans baffled. Aishwarya appeared at the awards show with a fractured hand and a pair of black glasses. People were quick to assume that Salman had assaulted Aishwarya.
Salman reportedly, also damaged her car.
Aishwarya addressed the rumours during an interview to Filmfare. She denied the rumours saying, "Why don't people believe that I fell down the stairs? The same media portrayed me as a strong woman. Now it wants to paint me as a helpless one. I would never tolerate nonsense behaviour. Nobody can act savagely with me. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger can get hurt in an accident. So, why can't I? I would have retaliated if I were physically attacked. This news is baseless. My silence has further fuelled the rumours. But I don't like to react on frivolous things."
4. Aishwarya finally speaks up about the physical and emotional abuse
Aishwarya Rai in an interview to The Times Of India in 2002, finally admitted being in an abusive relationship with Salman.
She said,"Salman and I broke up last March, but he isn't able to come to terms with it...After we broke up, he would call me and talk rubbish. He also suspected me of having affairs with my co-stars. I was linked up with everyone, from Abhishek Bachchan to Shah Rukh Khan. There were times when Salman got physical with me, luckily without leaving any marks. And, I would go to work as if nothing had happened. Salman hounded me and caused physical injuries to himself when I refused to take his calls."
"I stood by him enduring his alcoholic misbehaviour in its 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 ended my relationship with him," she cleared in another interview to The Indian Express.
The next day after Aishwarya made this statement, Salman rammed his Toyota Land Cruiser onto the pavement in suburban Bandra (Mumbai). Not a co-incidence for sure!
5. Salman denies the allegations
"Obviously, she will not recite poems if she is disturbed. Every person reacts in his own manner and I do not have an objection to that," Salman said during an interview to MiD-Day
"No. I have never beaten her. Anyone can beat me up. Any fighter here on the sets can thrash me. That is why people are not scared of me. I do get emotional. Then I hurt myself. I have banged my head against the wall; I have hurt myself all over. I cannot hurt anyone else. I have only hit Subhash Ghai. Yet, I apologised to him the next day," he added.
"There are times when you do get out of control. That person hit me with a spoon, almost broke a plate on my face, pissed on my shoes and grabbed me by the neck. I could not control myself. And see what happened. Next day, I had to go and apologise."
6. Aishwarya says never again
According to Biswadeep Ghosh's book, Salman accused Aishwarya of having an affair with Shah Rukh Khan during the shooting of Chalte Chalte. Salman had reportedly shouted at Aishwarya at the sets of the movie. He had also grabbed Shah Rukh Khan’s collar when he tried to intervene. This ruckus ended up in Aishwarya losing the part. Rani Mukerji was then casted in Chalte Chalte opposite Shah Rukh.
According to reports, Sanjay Leela Bhansali had offered Bajirao Mastani to Aishwarya but she had declined the film because Salman was supposed to be featured in the same.
In a press release, Aishwarya said, "For my well-being and for the self-respect of my family, I will not work with Mr Salman Khan. The chapter of Salman Khan was a nightmare in my life. I am thankful that it is over now."