In an interview back in 1990, Salma Khan had opened up about her darling son, Salman Khan. She had revealed, “I’m their friend and that is why my children never hide things from me. I know all their secrets and in fact, Salman had a girlfriend at a very tender age of 13. Moreover, I encourage Salman to bring his girlfriends home.”
Over the decades, her boy continues to bring his many girlfriends home! The very handsome Salman has had absolutely no shortage of the most beautiful female companions. And with the commitment-shy actor apparently too wary of taking the matrimonial plunge, there has never been a dull moment in the life of India’s most eligible bachelor!
College romance with Shaheen
While not too much is known of the girl Salman dated at 13, his first proper relationship was with a model, Shaheen Jaffrey. He was just 19 when he dated Shaheen, who was the granddaughter of the superstar of the black and white era, Ashok Kumar. Salman would woo her, waiting outside her college for long hours in his red coloured sports car. He had introduced Shaheen as his girlfriend to his family, and both his and her folks had accepted their relationship. Marriage was supposed to be the next step, till a beauty named Sangeeta Bijlani appeared on the scene and rewrote his future.
Smitten by Sangeeta
This gorgeous Miss India was coping with her breakup with then-boyfriend actor-composer, Binju Ali. She battled her loneliness spending long hours working out at the health club of Bandra’s Sea Rock hotel. This five-star was incidentally also the place where Salman would hang out with his girlfriend Shaheen. The sparks flew and within no time Salman and Sangeeta were a couple. It was reportedly Sangeeta’s maturity that attracted Salman to her. With time, the relationship grew serious, to the extent that they had even finalized their wedding date – May 27, 1994. However, all preparations ground to a halt with Sangeeta suddenly calling off the wedding! The reason was allegedly a young beauty called Somy Ali.
The Somy Factor
Apparently, Salman had cheated on Sangeeta and had got very close to Somy, who was openly smitten by him. A heartbroken Sangeeta later confessed in an interview that Salman was not worth marrying. Salman himself had confessed the same on ‘Koffee With Karan’ when he revealed that his wedding was called off after his fiancée had caught him cheating on her.
Somy had met Salman in 1993 when she was just a teenager. However, this relationship too went on to bite the dust, as Salman’s alleged drinking habit and obsessive behaviour drove them apart. The ex-couple though continues to be close to this day. Somy herself has revealed, “I had a huge crush on Salman as a teenager. The crush led me to leave Florida and move to India and join films just so I could find him and get married to him…He has a heart of gold and I know for a fact that if I were ever in need he would be the first person that I would call.”
Obsession with Ash
Interestingly, Somy Ali holds Aishwarya Rai responsible for coming between her and Salman. “They both did what they felt and believed was the right thing to do at that point in time. I don’t like to hold grudges. It will only affect my growth as a person,” she has maintained, without going into details.
Salman and Ash met on the sets of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and lost their hearts to each other as dramatically as they did in the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film. They plunged headlong into a relationship, even as her family strongly opposed it. Ash grew close to Salman’s family as well and was part of all their family events. However, an incident in November 2001 saw their relationship, which was plagued by insecurity, take a turn for the worse. Eyewitnesses had confirmed that Salman had reached Aishwarya’s apartment and kept banging on the door, wanting to be let in. The banging and pleading continued till 3 am in the morning before he was finally let in, his hands bleeding. His intention was alleged to get a promise of marriage from Ash, who was in no rush to marry. Ash later termed this period as the worst chapter in her life, while Salman maintained, “When we fight, it is all because of our love.”
The Aishwarya Lookalike
Still yearning for Ash, Salman discovered Sneha Ullal, who bore a close resemblance to Ms. Rai. He even featured Sneha in his film, Lucky. The film flopped and the liaison also faded away soon.
A Thing for Katrina
He didn’t stay single for long. At a small get-together, he laid eyes on the lovely Katrina Kaif. “She had come home for a party and I thought she was one of the sweetest girls ever. She knew my sisters and all my friends, but she didn’t know me,” Salman recently spoke about their first meeting. Though the couple never spoke about their relationship, they were constantly together. Katrina went on to star with Salman in several films including Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya?, Partner, Hello and Yuvvraaj. However, neither seemed ready to take the relationship to the next level. The relationship ended in 2010 when Katrina fell in love with her Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahaani co-star, Ranbir Kapoor. Salman and Kat were not on talking terms for a long while, till they decided to put aside their differences and stay friends and co-stars.
Post Katrina, Salman apparently enjoyed a succession of short and sweet encounters with the likes of German model Claudia Ciesla, followed by Zareen Khan, who he introduced in Veer. Mahek Chahal, he openly expressed his bias towards on ‘Bigg Boss’, while he was also allegedly involved with dancer and choreographer Daisy Shah, who he introduced as his female lead in Jai Ho.
Steady with Iulia
Ever since it has been the beautiful Romanian TV presenter Iulia Vantur, who has apparently been the mainstay in his life. The two had met for the first time in Romania when Salman was on a recce with brother Sohail Khan for their film, Jai Ho. They kept in touch and soon, Iulia was in Mumbai, entrenched as his special girl. They made their first public appearance together in 2016 and have been largely inseparable ever since. Iulia, who has now turned singer, recently spoke about the close bond she shares with Salman’s family, especially his mother, even as she shed light on her relationship with Salman. “I have a lot of respect for Salman. At the same time, I have no idea where life is taking me. Three years ago, I was all about being responsible and making plans, but not everything turns out the way we expect them to. Not everything is our will. What happens was meant to happen.”
That is perhaps the best and only philosophy for the girlfriend of a rolling stone named Salman Khan!