From Gautami to Sarika: The women in Kamal Haasan’s life

It is safe to say Kamal and Gautami blindsided us with their decision to end their 13 years of togetherness.

Written by Manoj Kumar R | Bengaluru | Published:November 1, 2016 6:10 pm
Gautami announced that breakup with Kamal Haasan Gautami announced that breakup with Kamal Haasan

The year 2016 has seen several high-profile celebrity breakups, including broken marriages leading to divorce and couples calling it quits after being in a relationship for a long time. The latest couple to join this year’s breakup list is Kamal Haasan and Gautami. It is safe to say Kamal and Gautami blindsided us with their decision to end their 13 years of togetherness. The couple began the live-in relationship when both were reeling under personal and professional challenges. They stood by each other through ups and downs and through Gautami’s battle with cancer. In an emotional blog post, Gautami confirmed that her relationship with the legendary actor has come to a painful end on Tuesday.

Gautami got hitched to businessman Sandeep Bhatia in 1998 and divorced him a year later. She has a daughter, Subbalakshmi, from her first marriage. When her daughter was just five-year-old, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. However, with sheer determination and with the support of her companion Kamal and friends, she managed to overcome the Big C. While we can’t exactly pinpoint what really went wrong between Kamal and Gautami, we can understand from her blog that they have had a difference of opinion for a long time.

Earlier, there were reports of Gautami and Kamal’s daughter Shruti having a disagreement on the sets of Sabaash Naidu, his upcoming film. The reports were refuted by everyone involved.

Kamal Haasan, who will turn 62 on November 7, has gone through a string of breakups before Gautami. He reportedly had an affair with yesteryear actor Srividya, with whom he shared screen space in several movies during the 1970s. In 2006, he visited Srividya in the hospital before she passed away, which inspired Malayalam director Renjith to make the 2008 film, Thirakkatha. The film explored the relationship between Kamal and Srividya along with how opportunities dry up for female actors as they age.

In 1978, Kamal married dancer Vani Ganapathy. After 10 years, he divorced Vani to be with actor Sarika. Kamal had claimed that the divorce settlement with Vani left him bankrupt and had to start from the scratch with his new partner. The claim was rubbished by Bengaluru-based classical dancer saying his claim was very “petty and childish.”

Kamal began his relationship with Sarika even before he was legally separated from Vani. He married Sarika in 1988 and applied for divorce in 2002. The deal-breaker was Kamal’s alleged affair with his then co-star Simran. In 2004, the couple got divorced, thus ending 17 years of marriage. They have two children — Shruti Haasan and Akshara Haasan.

Kamal and Gautami got into live-in relationship as they both claimed that they never believed in marriage. Thirteen years later, the couple abruptly parted ways. In her blog, Gautami has written, “After almost 13 years together, it has been one of the most devastating decisions that I have ever had to make in my life. It is never easy for anyone in a committed relationship to realise that their paths have irreversibly diverged and that the only choices in front of them are to either compromise with their dreams for life or to accept the truth of their solitude and move ahead. It has taken me a very long time, a couple of years at the very least, to accept this heartbreaking truth and come to this decision.”