Jackie Shroff's Marriage: A Love Unhindered By Adversity

When Jackie Shroff made his debut with the 1982 Dev Anand potboiler Swami Dada, almost no one took notice of this new face given the bevy of stars present in the film. Jackie was just 25 years old, a model turned actor who was trying to find a foothold in the film world. One day, he was noticed by filmmaker Subhash Ghai, who was looking for a rough and tough newcomer to play the protagonist in his next film. Jackie seemed apt for the part, and he went to play the first successful role of his life in the blockbuster film Hero (1983). This was Jackie’s catapult to peak fame, and he tied the knot with his childhood sweetheart. Jackie Shroff’s marriage to Ayesha Dutt was just four years down the line from his debut. Ayesha and Jackie Shroff’s marriage has been a solid one but there must be some underground discord? Here is the full story.

Jackie Shroff – Journey Of A Hero

Jackie Shroff's Marriage - Jackie Shroff

Jackie Shroff was born Jaikishen Kakubhai Shroff on 1st February 1957 at Latur district of Maharashtra to a Gujarati father and a Turkish mother. His family later moved to Mumbai, which is where he received all of his education. Jackie is said to have been a local toughie in his early youth, and his rough yet charming looks got the attention of certain modelling agencies, who began offering him assignments. Jackie was only 24 when he was noticed by Dev Anand, who cast him in his film Swami Dada (1982). Like we’ve already seen, it was Subhash Ghai who spotted him, and offered him the lead role in the film Hero (1983). It was also Ghai who changed Jaikishen to ‘Jackie,’ which was also the name of Shroff’s character in the film.

After the success of Hero, Jackie went on to become a full-fledged Bollywood actor. He has been a common fixture of almost every Subhash Ghai film. Since his debut in 1982, Jackie Shroff has worked in over 50 films across five languages.

Ayesha Dutt – The Childhood Sweetheart

Jackie Shroff's Marriage - Ayesha Dutt

Jackie Shroff’s marriage to Ayesha was preceded by a decade long admiration. Jackie was still a teenager when he happened to meet the gorgeous Ayesha Dutt in Mumbai. Ayesha was born in 1960 to a Bengali father and Belgian mother, and is said to have grown up in Mumbai. Jackie and Ayesha met somewhere around the year 1973. Apparently Jackie happened to see Ayesha getting off a bus, her good looks leaving him captivated. It was later that they happen to meet again at a record shop, which kicked-off their friendship. Little is known about their initial courtship but Ayesha was a model way before Jackie entered the modelling circuit. She was only 20-years old when she represented India at the Miss Young World content in Manila, Philippines, where she was chosen as the ‘Most Popular Girl At The Contest’ by her fellow contestants. Needless to say she was a much more popular public figure than Jackie – at least before Jackie made his name as a film-star.

After Jackie’s entry in films, Ayesha too marked her foray into Bollywood with the film Teri Baahon Mein in 1984. Later, however, she switched from acting to production, making Teri Baahon Mein the only film she has ever acted in.

Ayesha Dutt And Jackie Shroff’s Marriage, Time To Tie The Knot

Jackie Shroff's Marriage - Jackkie And Ayesha's Wedding Pics

Jackie and Ayesha were in a firm relationship all throughout their teens and early youth. Although Jackie’s popularity soon surged beyond that of Ayesha’s, he made it a point to always stay rooted to the one true love of his life. Jackie Shroff’s marriage with Ayesha was officiated in 1987 on Ayesha’s 27th birthday, 5th June. The wedding was held in Mumbai as per Gujarati traditions, with only family members and select friends gracing the occasion. The lovebirds were finally in it for the long run, officially.

Jackie Shroff's Marriage - Jackkie And Ayesha With Tiger And Krishna

The couple had their first child, son Tiger Shroff, in 1990, and a daughter, Krishna Shroff, in 1993. After Ayesha and Jackie Shroff’s marriage, the couple started their own production house, and thereafter have worked together in producing several films.

The Alleged Extra-Marital Affair

Jackie Shroff's Marriage - Ayesha Seen With Sahil

In 2009, Ayesha began a film production company with model and Bollywood actor Sahil Khan. Sahil Khan (b.1976) had started his career as a model and later tried to make a foray into films. Although not exactly popular as an actor, he had his name splashed all over the tabloids in 2004, when he got married to controversial Iranian-born Norwegian model/actress Negar Khan. Sahil divorced her the subsequent year. Later, Sahil shifted attention towards film production, and through the nature of his work happened to meet Ayesha.

Jackie Shroff’s marriage was not exactly in trouble, seeing as it was a combination of Sahil’s attention-seeking agenda, and the press definitely dancing to a merrier tune. Ayesha and Sahil began as professional acquaintances, and started a production company with their eyes set on an ambitious film project, which would involve Hollywood celebrities. While the project appeared to stalling, their friendly relationship continued. In mid-2009, Sahil and Ayesha made repeated public appearances together at various restaurants and public places. Ayesha would often be seen at public events sans Jackie with only Sahil, with tabloids playing it out as the older woman and her arm candy. Things started becoming more scandalous, when they were spotted partying at a night club, with the paparazzi analyzing body language, arguing on live television that it ostensibly indicated that they more than ‘just friends’. Sahil always declined commenting on the matter. Ayesha would always reiterate that she’s way older than Sahil and therefore there is no question of being romantically involved with Sahil. But their statements often sounded rhetorical, and everyone was having it with a pinch of salt until their production company plummeted.

The Ugly Legal Feud

Jackie Shroff's Marriage - Ayesha And Sahil Pose For The Press

Like said before, Ayesha and Jackie Shroff’s marriage was not in trouble, but more like a case of Sahil the swindler picking on an older woman with a son her age. In 2014, Ayesha Shroff filed a legal case against Sahil Khan for allegedly swindling all the money she had invested in their production house. Superficially, it seemed a business deal gone sour, but the careful examination of the complaint opened a box of secrets the business partners were hiding from plain sight. It was learnt that Ayesha and Sahil had more than just one business, and they even owned a cyber-security firm together.

When Sahil filed for bail, his application threw light on many things. The media screamed on about their alleged fling through Sahil’s unofficial assertions to the press that Ayesha was just trying to get him to return all the money she had spent on him paying his bills for his personal luxury holidays and outings, but it was still quite suspicious. Sahil also listed ‘rented apartment’ he owned in the repository of the stated expenses, which raised a lot of eyebrows. The average page 3 readers saw these as nearly corroborated facts that the two were indeed seeing one another.

Ayesha was not pleased by this though, and filed a fresh complaint of deliberate defamation against Sahil, which is when he pulled his final trump card. A situation that was not even remotely romantic was revealed, a story of an older actress preying on a younger guy, and a young male starlet preying on an older woman in turn. It got ugly. Sahil’s lawyer submitted to the police a copy of photographs that showed the pair spending some intimate moments together, part of an MMS of the two kissing. Sahil jumped the gun, and stated that if he was indeed her business partner, why did she have a fling with him – in-spite of the fact that she was married? This statement caused Sahil to loose his ownership over their cyber-security firm, and any other joint monetary venture, since by stating this he effectively denied being a stakeholder. But in exchange, the pictures tugged away from Ayesha’s hand the ability to deny the sleazy affair, giving Sahil the 15 minutes of fame he needed to get noticed. Sahil Khan had managed to seduce the wife of Jackie Shroff, if only for a few moments, and shake up Jackie Shroff’s marriage.

And it would have taken a turn for worse, had Ayesha’s husband Jackie not stepped into the matter. In late 2014, the Shroffs together filed a case against Sahil for cheating and defamation, and Sahil soon absconded for substantial amount of time.

Ending The Dispute With Paisa

Jackie Shroff's Marriage - Jackie, Ayesha And Sahil

Their dispute was an endless loop with each party having their own share of dirty secrets, which they feared would unveil through the court proceedings. The tussle had already taken a toll on the Shroffs – through incessant media coverage. The press had gone crazy with this, and Jackie Shroff’s marriage to Ayesha was supposedly in various states of disaster, amidst talk of Tiger Shroff’s career. They realised it would be wise to sort things privately. In March 2015, Ayesha and Sahil finally pulled the plug on the legal investigation by formally withdrawing their complaints against one another.

It was not an unconditional resolution though, and in accord to their pact Ayesha would have to allow every penny she had lent to Sahil to remain with him. Sahil on the other hand would forego his share from their joint production company and submit all the copies of the intimate photographs. The Shroffs and Sahil Khan did not sign off on a cordial note, but things were cleaned up. In April 2015, Sahil emigrated to Spain, with a large lump sum of money from his dealings with Ayesha, where he is said to have tied the knot with a Spanish lass.

And Still The Shroffs Are Together

Jackie Shroff's Marriage - Jackie And Ayesha, The Happy Couple

In an interview, Jackie once shared that he and his wife give each other space, and that he does not interfere with what is going on in her world, unless necessary.

“I tell her, ‘You’ve been a doormat for a long time, now go ahead and enjoy yourself.’ That’s why we’ve been together for years.”
– Jackie Shroff speaking of Ayesha Shroff

While it is good to see couples give each other personal breathing space, what strikes us is the fact that Jackie remained a mute spectator for the most part in the Ayesha-Sahil feud. In fact it was only when he intervened that Sahil realised the seriousness of the situation, and fled the city for many months. Sure, Jackie Shroff’s marriage was not in any actual danger, but perhaps if Jackie had made his presence felt earlier, things would not have reached such a bitter point.

“He is not very communicative. At the end of the day, you have to see life through your kids. You don’t have to upset the balance. I know a lot of people have insinuated many things, but it’s not true.”
– Ayesha Shroff on her husband Jackie Shroff

Maybe if Jackie would have been more communicative, or if Ayesha has done that… But who are we to judge. At the end, all that matters is trust and togetherness between a married couple, irrespective of how rough things get in life. The fact that Ayesha and Jackie have remained hand-in-hand together for more than three decades itself testifies the strong bond the pair has shared, which, unsurprisingly, seems to be growing stronger with each day of their life. Leaving you with these adorable words by Jackie for his wife Ayesha.

“We’ve been friends, and courted for years before marriage…. Today, we understand each other on a totally different level. Her trust is unnerving.”
– Jackie Shroff on her wife Ayesha Shroff

Images Source: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9