Chennai, November 1 (NIA): Tamil and Telugu film star and costume designer Gautami and actor-director Kamal Haasan, who had been in a live-in relationship for 13 years, have split. This is the second split for both, Kamal having left Vani Ganapathy and Sarika Thakur and Gautami having divorced Sandeep Bhatia earlier.
Announcing the parting of ways vis-à-vis Kamal through her blog Gautamitadimalla.worldpress.com on Tuesday, Gautami said:
“It is heartbreaking for me to have to say today that I and Mr. Haasan are no longer together. 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 realize 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.
It is not my intention to seek sympathy or assign blame. I have understood through my life that change is inevitable and human nature will define that change for each individual. Not all of these changes might be what we expect or anticipate but that does not, in any way, negate the very real impact of these diverging priorities in a relationship. This decision to set forth on my own at this stage in my life is perhaps one of the most difficult decisions any woman will ever have to make but it is a necessary one for me. For I am a mother first and foremost and I have a responsibility to my child to be the best mother that I can be. And to do that, it is essential that I am at peace within myself.
It is no secret that I have always been a fan of Mr. Haasan’s since before I came to the film industry and I continue to admire and cheer on his monumental talent and achievements. I have stood by him through all his challenges and they have been precious moments for me. I have also learned a great deal from working with him as costume designer on his films and I’m proud that I was able to do justice to his creative vision in those films. Along with all of his accomplishments to date, I know that there is much more to come from him for his audience and I look forward to applauding those successes.”
In 1998, Gautami had married businessman Sandeep Bhatia and had a daughter, Subbalakshmi, by him. She divorced Bhatia in 1999. From 2005, she and actor Kamal Haasan had been in a lie-in relationship.
The couple had met on the sets of Apoorva Sahodarargal in 1989 and had been close friends. She and Kamal had refused to marry each other, citing ‘lack of faith in marriage’ as the main reason. At 35 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had successfully fought it.
Early in his career, Kamal Haasan had co-starred in several films with Srividya. They were reported to have had an affair during the 1970s, and their relationship was explored in the 2008 Malayalam film Thirakkatha. But in 1978, at age 24, Haasan married dancer Vani Ganapathy . They divorced ten years later.
Haasan and his new found love, actress Sarika Thakur began living together in 1988, marrying after the birth of their first child, Shruti (born 1986). Shruti Haasan is a singer and a Tollywood-Kollywood actress. Their younger daughter, Akshara (born 1991), was Assistant Director for the 2013 movie Vishwaroopam. Sarika stopped acting soon after their marriage and was Haasan’s costume designer for Hey Ram. In 2002, the couple filed for divorce, which became final in 2004.
Haasan’s affair with co-star Simran Bagga (22 years younger than him) triggered the breakup. But his relationship with Simran (who appeared in Pammal K. Sambandam and Panchathantiram) was brief, since Simran married her childhood friend in late 2003.
In 2005, Haasan began to live with former actress Gautami Tadimalla, who had starred with him in several films during the late 1980s and early 1990s.