Today, Kareena is a mature and gracious woman, secure in the love of her husband, doting over her baby son, and perfectly happy with the way her career and life have panned out. Bipasha too has found complete love in her husband and fellow ‘monkey’ – it’s their term of endearment for each other - Karan Singh Grover.
However, back in 2001, a good 16 years ago, they were a far cry from their mellow and sweet selves. Trouble had erupted between the two during their common film, Ajnabee. It was Bipasha's Bollywood debut, and also starred Kareena as the leading man Akshay Kumar’s wife. Not surprisingly, the cracks developed soon. The two co-actresses first made headlines even before the film’s release for having a huge fight over their costumes. Bebo had seen red when her personal designer had helped Bipasha with her costumes, without taking her consent first.
Now, this was tricky territory, given that stealing a boyfriend is possibly a minor sin as compared to pinching another heroine’s designer! With neither actress in a mood to back off, there was supposedly a mighty clash between the two. A screaming match had ensued with plenty of name-callings. It was at this point that Kareena allegedly hurled the ‘kaali billi’ (black cat) epithet at Bips. Certain sources claim she had even slapped the junior actress at that frenzied point.
After this shocking mess, the two actresses stayed well out of each other’s hair. However, the bitterness still simmered. In an interview in 2001, Bipasha maintained, “I think this is a case of making a mountain out of a molehill. There were never any problems with me. She had some problems with the designer. I don't know why I was pulled in. It was quite childish.” In the same breath, she added that she did not ever want to work with Kareena again!
Not to be left behind, Kareena countered with her own version, claiming, “She just doesn't seem to have any confidence in her own talent. In a four-page interview, she spoke about me for three pages. Why not talk about your work? I think her only claim to fame is that she fought with me during Ajnabee over dress designer Vikram Phadnis. She's given statements that I called her uncharitable names. Now, that's a figment of her imagination.”
Their animosity continued to surface intermittently. When Kareena called Bipasha's then-beau John Abraham "expressionless" on the second season of ‘Koffee With Karan’, claiming she would never want to work with him, Bips hit back during her appearance on Karan Johar’s talk show, pointing out that Kareena had "too many expressions"!
In 2008 there was a quiet reconciliation, when Kareena, most likely on Saif’s behest, invited Bipasha to his birthday party. Today there is cordiality between the two… but we doubt there’s any love!