Veteran actor Zeenat Aman took to her social media on Tuesday and opened up about an injury she suffered 40 years ago that damaged the muscles around her right eye. Zeenat shared that this injury caused her eyelid to droop and obstructed her vision. She said that 40 years after she suffered the injury, the medical advancement has made it possible for her to regain her vision. Zeenat, in the past, has opened up about going through physical abuse and violence, and said that to get through life, she has chosen to block the memories of that time.
However, Sanjay Khan, who allegedly hit Zeenat in a public gathering, told Hrishikesh Kannan on his podcast that he “never slapped her” and said that it was a “PR attack against me which came like a blitzkrieg.” He also addressed the accusation of injuring her eye and said that, in Zeenat’s case, it was “hereditary.” In a chat with Simi Garewal on her show Rendezvous with Simi Garewal in 1999, when Zeenat was asked about dealing with physical abuse “publicly,” she said that it was “brief” chapter in the past. “For many years, in my mind, it’s been obliterated because I think that’s what the human mind does. When there is something distinctly unpleasant, you just close your mind to it and pretend that it never happened and you promise yourself that it will never happen again. And that’s how you cope,” she said.
Sanjay Khan, when releasing his autobiography The Best Mistakes of My Life in 2018, did not address the incident in his book. Instead, he wrote about an alternate timeline and referred to himself and Zeenat as ‘prince’ and ‘princess’, since those were their characters in their 1980 film Abdullah. It was reported at the time that the two actors were shooting for this film when the alleged altercation took place.
During the promotions of the book, when Kannan asked Sanjay about the “Zeenat Aman incident” that has not been directly addressed in the book, Sanjay said that he was “in exile for four years” after the incident was reported. “I was so pained and horrified with the one-sidedness of the entire story because nobody even asked me that what happened. This was a well planned PR attack against me which came like a blitzkrieg,” he said.
The Sword of Tipu Sultan actor said that the “facts were totally, radically opposite.” He said, “I was even accused of her eye going out… she is losing her eye which is not right. If you see ’81, ’82, ’83, ’84, she has done several films. There is evidence to the fact that she has perfect eyes. Later on in life she became a little squint because her mother was squint a little bit. It was a hereditary thing that was labelled one me that I slapped her, I never slapped her, and this was blasphemy.”
When asked if he ever spoke to Zeenat after the alleged altercation, Sanjay said that he “met her the very next day and she was perfectly okay.” Much like his book, where he insinuated, without taking any names, that the “princess” was “alluring” the “prince”, Sanjay said here that sometimes actors start believing the character they are playing. “Sometimes it happens that an actor and an actress, they get into character and they start living the character off the screen too. So the romance was between the prince and the princess, they remain prince and the princess. So there is question of being in love in real life… didn’t happen,” he said. In his book too, Sanjay implied that there was no romance between the two but it was the “princess” who was trying to push herself into his life.