While star scandals are almost commonplace, B-town’s music industry has not been far behind in striking some seriously discordant notes! Blasts from the past, as we revisit some of the wrong notes struck by popular music artistes!
Two girlfriends and a wife spell trouble, and that’s what was in store for Sonu Nigam. His five-year old marriage with Madhurima underwent considerable strain in 2005. The couple had reportedly split and were living separate lives, even as they stayed under the same roof.
Nigam’s alleged involvements with singer Sunidhi Chauhan and producer Smita Thackeray were touted to be the cause of friction between him and Madhurima. Sonu had even spoken about it at the time, claiming, “Madhurima and I need space, both of us are shattered, but life has to move on. I find there is no other alternative but to go our own ways…I feel that it is better to part amicably, retaining respect for each other, instead of matters precipitating to a level where we do not even like to see each other’s faces.” The couple evidently managed to survive the storm and remain married today.
Scandalous affair with a leading lady
Popular singer of the 1990s, Kumar Sanu holds the Guinness Book world record for recording the most songs in a day – 28. Turns out he was keen on setting a record in other areas as well! The skeletons tumbled out of his closet when, in 1994, his wife Rita Bhattacharya filed a divorce suit, claiming that he was involved in an open extramarital affair with leading actress Meenakshi Seshadri.
While Meenakshi stayed strangely silent about Rita’s derogatory allegations, his wife was determined to seek justice.
Previously Sanu had apparently also been involved with actress Kunika Lal. Eventually the couple divorced, with Rita gaining custody of their three sons. Sanu went to remarry Saloni Bhattacharya, with whom he has two daughters, and who is based in London.
Accusations of Molestation
Popular music director and sometimes singer, Anu Malik was accused of sexual harassment by ‘Made in India’ singer and popstar, Alisha Chinai. The incident occurred around the year 1996, when Chinoy alleged that she had been molested by Malik. She slapped a Rs.26,60,000 lawsuit on him. He not only denied the charge, but slapped a defamation suit worth Rs.2 crore on her in return! Alisha kept her distance from the music director after that unsavoury incident. However, years later they did go on to work together in Ishq Vishq, in 2002. They were also co-judges on ‘Indian Idol’ and appeared civil towards each other.
The otherwise clean slate of singer Udit Narayan was blotted by the accusations made against him in 2006, by a woman named Ranjana Jha. Her allegation was even more shocking: she claimed to be the popular singer’s legally wedded wife! Ranjana barged into Maurya Hotel, plonked herself outside Udit’s suite, and demanded that her conjugal rights be restored instantly. Allegations flew back and forth, with Udit claiming that he was only married to Deepa, his second wife. Ranjana supplied proof in terms of photographs, ration card and other legal documents to the Bihar Women’s Commission, and after months of ugly battle, Udit finally accepted that Ranjana was his first wife. And then the unexpected twist: Ranjana withdrew her complaint, and both wife
No.1 and wife No.2 declared that they would live like sisters in harmony!
Allegations of Abuse
Nobody expected to hear the gifted singer Sukhwinder ‘Chainyaa Chainyaa’ Singh being accused of plagiarism and abuse, but the allegations came from his own wife, Tejpal Kaur. The couple had eloped and wed against her parents’ wishes; however success evidently brought out the worst in Sukhwinder. Tejpal claimed that the song ‘Lucky Kabootar’, which she had written for the Gurinder Singh-owned music company, had been stolen by her husband and passed on to Raaj Kanwar for the film Daag – without even giving her due credit. She also alleged that he was drunken and abusive, adding, “Sukhwinder wants a servant not a wife but I am not that type. My husband is a disgusting man.” It was curtains for the couple.