When Sanjay Khan & His Wife Beat up Zeenat Aman: Revisiting Bollywood’s Most Shameful Scandal
There are two reasons Bollywood has millions of fans. One is the glitz and glamour of the industry, and the other is the mystery surrounding it. The industry has seen some shocking scandals over the years, but no one, apart from the people involved, has ever found out the whole truth. One of these was when Sanjay Khan beat up his girlfriend Zeenat Aman in the presence of several mute eyewitnesses.
In January 1980, a magazine posted a bit by bit account of what happened between Sanjay and Zeenat on the fateful day that he physically abused her. Apparently, Sanjay, who was married to Zarine Khan and had three children with her, fell in love with Zeenat when they met on on the sets of Abdullah in Jaisalmer in 1980.
The article talks about an evening when Zeenat was shooting at a hotel in Lonavla, and received a call from Sanjay, who was in Bombay. He asked for some dates to re-shoot parts of a song in Abdullah. The shoot was to take place in Jaisalmer and would have two minutes of screen time for her. Zeenat told him that she had already committed her dates to BR Chopra and Tony-Tito a long time ago. But Sanjay was adamant. He then accused her of having an affair with Chopra and other men. After the 30-minute phone call got over, she took Chopra's permission to leave and see Sanjay.
Zeenat, then, went straight to Sanjay's house to figure the dates out, and was told he was at Hotel Taj. She went to the Taj and found out that Sanjay was attending a private party. As she did not want to break the party, she asked the steward to call Sanjay outside. But the host insisted she join the party. As she entered, the atmosphere suddenly turned cold and tense, and the guests looked stunned. Sanjay, then, demanded to know why Zeenat had come there. Zeenat requested Sanjay if she could speak to him privately as she wished to settle her shooting dates and report back to Lonavla.
This is what the article said after that, "Sanjay followed by Zeenat walked into the adjoining room (which had a connecting door). And it was there that he let loose his animal wrath. He did not give Zeenat a second to speak. He exhausted the vocabulary of smut on her. He used the most vulgar of abuse, called her a whore, a bitch. Accused her of sleeping (to put it mildly) with his brother Feroz Khan amongst several other men. If he had just slapped her hard a few times, one could have excused him. But what followed was one of the most brutal bash-ups any hotel staff could have witnessed. He hit her. She fell he lifted her by her hair and hit her again. And again and again. One could only hear her wails. Flory (her hairdresser) fought her way through the barrier of guests and entered the adjoining room. Sanjay lifted her by the neck and flung her out. Flory became hysterical and ran out crying. He was a man who had lost his mind. An uncontrollable bull. A maniac run amuck. And it was then that Zarine entered. Did she try to stop her husband? Oh no -- she joined the slaughter shouting: "Give the bitch what she deserves." She lashed out at Zeenat with her loaded handbag, while Parmeshwar was reported to be sneering and enjoying the whole show.
It was the steward who helped Zeenat out of the door, profusely apologising shocked out of her mind. Her face was swollen with the thrashing; her hair in a mess, for he had lifted her off the ground by it each time he bashed her; her nose was streaming with blood. Not one of the guests even tried to help her. And it was days later that Parmeshwar was reported to have said: "How could any of us have intervened when he an was behaving like a maniac?" The steward finally escorted her down to the car, through the lobby, with blood and tears streaming down her face.
Zeenat was in bed for eight days after this gory incident, with a doctor and a day and night nurse in attendance continuously. She was in an extreme state of shock and had to be injected with anti-depressants, three times a day.
Zeenat did not report this indecent to the police, because she did not want to. Her love for him refused to accept what had happened. She was still willing to forgive him. Even days after the incident, she tried her best to protect him, by saying, "Yes, we did have a fight, but he did not bash me black and blue." But her face was proof enough for us."
Zeenat never filed a case against him and continued to defend him even after the incident. She apparently told the writer of the article, "I love this man. Don't you understand? I will back his every move and I will make him a king one day." She also made a shocking revelation about being married to Khan, and said, "Yes, I was married to Abbas (Sanjay). I believed in the sanctity of my marriage. And all the time I was married to him, I have served him as a dutiful wife!"
Here's the full article: