Yukta Mookhey Marriage: Paying The Price For Being A Princess

Yukta Mookhey stole the spotlight in 1999, when she won the coveted Miss World title in London – a feat that had every Indian beaming with pride. She later made her film debut, starting with a guest appearance in a Tamil film and moving thereafter to full-fledged roles in Hindi cinema. A sure talent, Yukta should have had a flourishing career, but instead, all her acting dreams came to an abrupt end when she tied the knot with Prince Tuli, a Nagpur-based businessman in 2008. The marriage ended on a bitter note in 2014. But what was the cause? Read on for all the details about the Yukta Mookhey marriage with Prince Tuli.

Yukta Mookhey – The Miss World Pageant Winner

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Yukta Mookhey was born on 7th October 1977 in Bengaluru, but soon after her birth her family moved to Dubai which is where she spent her early years. In 1986, the family relocated to Mumbai, which is where Yukta received her education. She later went on to do a diploma in Computer Sciences, and even took formal training in Hindustani Classical music for three years.

In 1999, the 22-year old Yukta decided to try modelling as a career option and participated in the Femina Miss India competition. She ended up winning. She then formally entered the Miss World competition, and here too, the beauty went on to win. This invariably opened the doors to Bollywood, and Yukta made her debut with a small role in the Tamil film Poovellam Un Vasam (2001). The tall lass was then seen in the Hindi film Pyaasa (2002), and subsequently did four more films. She retired from the limelight in the year 2008 – after her marriage with businessman Prince Tuli.

Prince Tuli – In A Hurry To Find His Princess

Yukta surprised everyone by the announcement of her engagement with a businessman named Prince Tuli in September 2008. Yukta first met Prince in June 2008, when she was visiting Nagpur for the promotion of a film, and happened to stay at Prince’s family-owned luxury hotel called Tuli International. They were introduced to one another through the hotel’s management, and their first meeting was purely formal. It was when they met the second time, in the hotel itself, that they exchanged their numbers, and decided to stay in touch with regular calls and messages. While Yukta never saw Prince as a love interest, there were always amorous undertones in Prince’s solicitations. He eventually visited Mumbai and decided to drop by at Yukta’s place to meet her parents. Prince was lucid about his intentions, and soon her parents gave a nod to their marriage.

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Their courtship was brief, and the haste to get married was palpable, but only from Prince Tuli’s side. Since her parents were convinced, Yukta assented to marry Prince, and the two got engaged on 7th September 2008. They decided to get married in a traditional Sikh wedding the same year in November.

The Wedding

Prince and Yukta got married in a Sikh wedding at the Kamptee Road Gurudwara, which lies on the Nagpur-Jabalpur highway on 2nd November 2008. The couple were dressed in traditional wedding attire and surely looked elated to be finally taking the vows to live together for life. The same evening they held a grand wedding reception for family and friends at the Tuli International hotel in Nagpur.

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Post her wedding, Yukta shifted lock, stock and barrel to Nagpur. Since her husband and in-laws did not endorse her profession of acting, Yukta decided to quit it all and become a home-maker. Prince and Yukta were blessed with a son a couple of years after their marriage in November 2010, whom they named Ahhreyn Tuli. The Tuli family looked picture-perfect but little did outsiders know that behind those outwardly smiles was hid a tumultuous marriage.

The Troubled Relationship, Right From The Start

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In July 2013, there were reports that Yukta filed a case of domestic violence and unnatural sex against her husband, and has moved to her parent’s place in Mumbai. Prince stayed tight-lipped about the matter, but Yukta did not hesitate to make candid revelations about what had gone wrong in their paradise. Apparently, things were always on their path to disaster, and Yukta could sense the initial signs when Prince’s sister met her in Mumbai for the first time. Prince’s sister was one of the first members of Prince’s family to meet Yukta, and their meeting lasted till 3 AM. The meeting felt like “an interrogation” since she asked Yukta all sorts of questions pertaining to finance and money. In Yukta’s words, she asked her “about how much I earned, what I planned to do with my life, what kind of marriage I would give, what I would do with my money after marriage, whether or not I would give it to my husband or my in-laws, whose name both my Mumbai flats were in, etc.” In hindsight she realised that even her to-be husband’s behaviour was quite off the mark.

“Prince had once asked me, “How does it feel to get married into a family where everyone has mistresses?” I had dismissed it, thinking it to be ridiculous.”
– Yukta Mookhey about her husband Prince Tuli

While it was okay till the wedding, after marriage she faced the brunt of her husband when he would frequently break into bouts of aggressiveness without any provocation. Prince would indulge in impromptu assaults, and would get enraged if he ever got a negative answer from Yukta. Subsequently, even the rest of the Tuli family joined in, denigrating Yukta for not sharing her wealth with her husband. All the while though, the poor Yukta could make no sense of it – after all her husband’s family was wealthy and highly educated and there was no reason for them to be greedy. But in retrospect she felt that the root cause for all that mayhem was psychological imbalance induced by alcoholism and drugs that seemed to be prevalent across the Tuli family.

“His whole family have a psychological problem. He lost his older brother to drugs and alcoholism about two years back. Prince, of course, has a very violent streak.”
– Yukta Mookhey about the Tuli family

When Yukta started growing resilient to his volley of verbal intimidation, he would assault her physically and sexually. Despite all the abuse, Yukta braved it all thanks to her spiritualism and motherhood. She later shared in an interview that she has been spritual right from the age of 13 and would visit her guru’s ashram in Ganeshpuri, an hour-and-a-half drive from Mumbai. But in spite of all her efforts to adjust, her husband and his family was just not ready to mend their ways.

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By July 2013, Prince had started troubling Yukta and her parents for money, and become totally hands free from his role of father. Yukta decided that she has to wrap it up once for all. She filed a legal case against her husband, along with an application for a divorce decree and left her marital home along with her son forever.

The Split And Life Thereafter

It was hard for a person like to Prince believe that his wife has not found him worthy to be a life partner. Surely his ego was hurt, and he resorted to cheap tactics like threatening his wife and her parents. He went a step ahead, and alleged Yukta to indulge in adultery, despite the fact that he was himself spotted on various occasions hanging around with women at parties till late in the morning. He even threatened Yukta and her parents of dire consequences if they proceed with the divorce but Yukta was not having any of it.

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Eventually in June 2014, the couple was granted a divorce under the conditions that Yukta will not ask for an alimony, while Prince will forego the custodial rights of his son for life. While they did not sign-off on an amicable note, they are surely out of each other’s life. In an interview later she reflected on those days, and shared that it is very important for a woman to have self-confidence and courage to face all the injustice being meted out to her, even if no one comes to her rescue. It is quite commendable that she braved her ordeal single-handedly and came out of it victorious. Now that is what you call a real ‘Miss World’. Reflect the same thought? Do leave a comment and share this story.

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