By Aashima Talwar Last Updated:
Born with a silver spoon, she is the daughter of the first family of Bollywood, the Kapoor khandaan. We are talking about Karisma Kapoor, the first Kapoor daughter who dared to break the rules and join Bollywood as an actress, and created a stir in the 90s and early 2000s with her screen presence, smile, dance moves and acting skills. Born on June 25, 1974, Karisma Kapoor’s age is 46 as on April 2021, but she can still give anyone a run for their money with her oh so gorgeous looks. She is an effortless beauty whose charm is unmatchable.
She was one of the highest-paid actresses of her time. After starring in movies like Dil To Pagal Hai, Hum Saath Saath Hain, Biwi No. 1, Fiza and Raja Hindustani, she started getting the status of a talented actress who was more than her surname. She joined Bollywood at the tender age of 17, with the romantic drama, Prem Qaidi. After ruling the silver screen for almost a decade, she got married to a businessman and took a sabbatical from Bollywood in 2003. Despite being a star kid, her life has never been an easy one. From making her debut in Bollywood without a godfather to seeing her home break because of another woman to now single-handedly bringing up her children, she has lived her share of struggles and heartbreaks.
Recommended Read: 20 Bollywood And Television Divas Who Did Not Wear Red At Their Weddings
Although her professional life has been commendable, Karisma Kapoor was never lucky in the matters of heart. From a broken engagement to her unhappy married life, Karisma's love life was never a bed of roses.
Even though she was born in the Kapoor family to actor, Randhir Kapoor, life was never easy for her as, at a very early age, Karisma Kapoor’s parents had gotten separated. Karisma Kapoor’s mother, Babita Shivdasani was one of the renowned actresses in the 60s and the 70s. Karisma lived with her mother and younger sister, Kareena. Babita brought up both her girls single-handedly. Karisma once revealed that her mother had to sell her jewellery to make ends meet. Her family, despite being the first family of Bollywood, was unsupportive towards her career. It was a firm belief of the Kapoor family that girls should not be a part of the movie industry, especially as actresses that is why no Kapoor daughter apart from Karisma and Kareena chose acting as a career. The tradition also resulted in Babita and Neetu Singh retiring from acting when they got married.
As if her struggle with her parents’ broken marriage and the hardships of industry were not enough, her love life also was extremely eventful during those days. Her first prominent relationship was with her Jigar and Suhag co-star, Ajay Devgn. Apparently, during the shooting of their films, they became very good friends and came close. The two started dating each other but Karisma got to know that Ajay was two-timing her with another co-star, Raveena. She always maintained that Ajay was just a good friend, but rumour mill was abuzz with their affair. Karisma and Raveena became arch rivals during that time, because of Ajay but Ajay dumped both of them for Kajol whom he ended up marrying.
Talking about Karisma Kapoor’s affairs, she was once linked with David Dhawan for a short span as she was doing many of his films, but there was no truth to this story. She was also rumoured to be dating Govinda and Salman Khan as she had done many films opposite them.
Not many know that Karisma Kapoor and Abhishek Bachchan dated for almost 5 years before getting engaged and later calling it off. So, do you want to know how the two met? Well, for the ones who don’t know, Raj Kapoor’s grandson (his daughter, Ritu Nanda's son), Nikhil Nanda is happily married to Amitabh Bachchan’s daughter, Shweta Bachchan Nanda. It was at Nikhil and Shweta’s wedding in 1997 that Karisma and Abhishek met and came close. Soon, the two started dating. As Karisma was a big star and Abhishek had not started his career yet, it was easy for them to keep their relationship under the wraps. It was during this time only that Karisma’s baby sister, Kareena made her debut opposite Abhishek in their first film, Refugee in 2000. After announcing Karisma and Abhishek’s engagement in 2002, they broke off the engagement after a few months.
Two most powerful clans of the film fraternity—the Kapoors and the Bachchans, were about to become one big family and join hands yet again, when the engagement of Karisma Kapoor and Abhishek Bachchan was announced, on Amitabh Bachchan's 60th birthday celebration in October 2002. Jaya Bachchan had even introduced Karisma as her to-be daughter-in-law. It not only surprised the media and the fans but the industry also as no one knew that these two were romantically involved. All their fans were excited for Karisma and Abhishek’s marriage to happen soon, but they got the greatest shock of their lives when the two families abruptly called off the engagement, after only four months of the announcement. Both Bachchans and Kapoors never gave a reason for calling off the marriage but Jaya Bachchan once revealed that it was solely Abhishek’s decision.
Till today nobody knows why Karisma and Abhishek’s engagement broke, souring the relation between Bachchans and Kapoors forever, there were hush-hush whispers that it was Babita who called off the engagement as Karisma was a star and Abhishek had just started his career. Even Amitabh Bachchan’s financial condition was not that great as he had incurred many losses due to his production company. As she was a single mother, she knew the importance of money and a financially stable partner and thus convinced Karisma to end the relationship. It was also said that Babita asked for a prenup in which Amitabh would transfer some of his wealth in Abhishek’s name, to secure her daughter’s future. This demand didn’t go down well with the Bachchans and Abhishek called off the wedding. Sooner than expected, Babita found a rich man for her daughter and Karisma got married in September 2003.
After being forced by her mother to part ways with the man she loved, she was convinced to marry a complete stranger, keeping only his financial status in mind. It is reportedly said that it was on Babita’s continuous insistence that Karisma decided to meet Sanjay Kapur, a rich Delhi-based businessman who was previously married to Nandita Mahtani, a famous designer for two years. Reportedly, it was only 10 days after the legal separation of Sanjay and Nandita, that Sanjay Kapur and Karisma Kapoor’s marriage was announced. Karisma and Sanjay tied the knot in a grand ceremony on September 29, 2003, which was attended by the entire Bollywood, except, the Bachchans, for obvious reasons.
Karisma Kapoor and Sanjay Kapur’s marriage didn’t last long and the two got separated in 2010. Karisma and Sanjay have two beautiful children, Samaira and Kiaan from their 10 years of marriage. The separation was an ugly one and Karisma walked out of the marriage with her two kids (her son being a few months old only) and shifted back to Mumbai, at her mother’s house. After a lot of mudslinging and accusations made in public, Karisma and Sanjay were granted a divorce in 2016, with Karisma having the custody of her children.
Their marriage never had a great start as both had a past. During their divorce battle, Sanjay even said that Karisma married him for his wealth and was on a rebound after her broken engagement with Abhishek. While, Karisma accused Sanjay of cheating on her with Priya Sachdev, his current wife. Sanjay and Priya were said to be in a live-in relationship while Karisma and Sanjay were still married. She also stated that Sanjay and his mother used to mentally and physically torture her. She also revealed that her ex-husband was addicted to recreational drugs. After many accusations made from both the sides, the two are legally divorced today and happy in their own worlds.
Today, both Sanjay and Karisma have moved on in their lives. Sanjay tied the knot with his ladylove, Priya Sachdev in April 2017, after a few months of his divorce and is happy with his third wife. On the other hand, Karisma had also found love in a Mumbai-based businessman, Sandeep Toshniwal. From Bollywood parties to dinners, Karisma Kapoor’s boyfriend, Sandeep was often seen with her. But according to the reports of IB Times, the couple had broken up as Karisma was not interested in marriage. The reports had further stated that Karisma preferred to focus on raising her children and had parted her ways with Sandeep amicably.
After Karisma Kapoor and Sanajy Kapur were granted divorce, various reports suggested that the actress did not get anything for herself. But another lawyer involved in this case was quoted by Mid-Day as saying, “Karisma will get Sunjay's father's house (in Khar) transferred in her name. Sunjay has to purchase bonds worth Rs 14 crore for the children, which will attract a monthly interest of around Rs 10 lakh.” It was also stated that Karisma would get the jewellery that was given to her by Sanjay and his family at the time of their marriage and Sanjay would bear all the expenses of the kids.
One of the leading queens of Bollywood in the 90s, Karisma had taken a sabbatical in 2004. She had made her comeback with ALT Balaji’s web series, Mentalhood in 2020. Karisma is considered as one of the highest-paid actresses during her time. She had featured in Forbes India’s list at the 76th position in 2012. According to the Republic World, Karisma Kapoor’s net worth is estimated to be 12 Million USD, which is approximately Rs 90.76 crores.
In all these years, Karisma has evolved as a person and more as a woman. From being the naïve 17-year-old girl who stepped into Bollywood, to a 44-year-old single mother who is raising her two kids on her own. She is truly a diva who has brushed off all her worries with a smile on her face!
Take a look at 7 Bollywood Divas Who Were Pregnant Before They Got Married