‘I want to pick up the pieces of my life and move on’

Anita AdvaniAnita Advani

The seventh season of Bigg Boss, which went on air Sunday on Colors channel, has Anita Advani as one of its 14 contestants. This move by Advani — who was in the spotlight last year after veteran actor Rajesh Khanna's death for claiming to have been his live-in partner of nine years — has made her the most controversial as well as "interesting" contestant in this season of the show.

The claims by Advani — niece of Philippines' former senator Leticia Ramos Shahani and her husband, former president of the island country Fidel Ramos — have, however, been shunned by Khanna's family, comprising his wife actress Dimple Kapadia and daughters Twinkle and Rinkie Khanna. Advani has since moved court alleging domestic violence by Khanna's family for ousting her from his Bandra bungalow Aashirwad and for being denied maintenance from his estate.

While the case is still on, Advani claims the family's lawyer met her once for an out-of-court settlement "but nothing has worked out because they don't wish to acknowledge Kakaji's relationship with me".

Advani says she hopes to use the show as a platform to talk about how she has been wronged. "I hope to bring to the fore certain issues that bother me. Apart from the injustice, I want to bring to people's notice how women everywhere are being treated as commodities," she said in an interview before entering the Bigg Boss house.

The 50-year-old, who had a brief and unsuccessful career in Bollywood in the 1980s, added that she won't go into details of Kakaji's (as Khanna was fondly known) relationship with her. "It's a domestic matter and I have to respect the privacy of his and my life together," she said.

Incidentally, Khanna too is rumoured to have been approached by Colors in the past to participate in Bigg Boss in its third season but refused after his family advised him against it. Advani confirms this, adding she is glad he didn't take up the offer as he was a legend and it could have negatively affected his image. "He thought a stay in the house would help him change his lifestyle but truth is, he was a tough man to deal with and also very private," she said of the actor who is said to have turned alcoholic and a recluse in his later years.

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