After 15 years of married life, Kiran Rao and Aamir Khan, announced their separation in a joint statement on Saturday, July 3rd. They had tied the knot on December 28, 2005. Their marriage has been one of the most creative associations of Indian cinema, bringing together one of its biggest superstars and a cinema lover who aspired to make her mark as a writer-director.
“In these 15 beautiful years together we have shared a lifetime of experiences, joy and laughter,” the statement said. Khan, 56, and Rao, 47, first met in 2001, and married four years later. They said they wanted to “begin a new chapter in our lives – no longer as husband and wife, but as co-parents and family for each other”. They added that their relationship had “only grown in trust, respect and love”. They met on sets of the AshutoshGowariker-directed Lagaan (2001), one of the most commercially successful Indian movies, where the former was an assistant director. Their romance, Khan said in some interviews, bloomed later when the actor was going through the process of legal separation from his first wife, Reena Dutta. Khan and Dutta, who have a son, Junaid, and a daughter, Ira, together, divorced in 2002.
Kiran Rao was a co-producer of several critically acclaimed as well as commercially successful films made by Aamir Khan Productions. These include JaaneTu…YaJaane Na (2008), Peepli Live (2010), Delhi Belly (2011), Dangal (2016) and the documentary RubaruRoshni (2019).
Aamir is doubtless one of the most dedicated actors in this world. With his recent successes in both the Indian and Chinese markets he has shouldered his way into becoming one of the world’s biggest superstars. Aamir has garnered praise from all parts of the globe. His most visible transformations can be seen in such movies as Ghajini, 3 idiots, Talaash, Dhoom 3, PK and Dangal. Aamir Khan’s streak of Chinese box office hits continued into and throughout the 2010’s with the rapid-fire release of Dhoom 3 (2013), PK (2014), Dangal (2016) and Secret Superstar (2017).
Kiran Rao and Aamir Khan’s plain-spoken statement assures that they will continue collaborating on work and pet projects. “We began a planned separation some time ago, and now feel comfortable to formalise this arrangement, of living separately yet sharing our lives the way an extended family does. We remain devoted parents to our son Azad, who we will nurture and raise together. We will also continue to work as collaborators on films, Paani Foundation, and other projects that we feel passionate about,” they said. Announcing Azad’s birth in 2011, the former couple had shown similar forthrightness when they mentioned that he was born after “a long wait” and “through IVF-surrogacy”. They ended their statement saying: “A big thank you to our families and friends for their constant support and understanding about this evolution in our relationship, and without whom we would not have been so secure in taking this leap. We request our well wishers for good wishes and blessings, and hope that — like us — you will see this divorce not as an end, but as the start of a new journey.”