When Vyjayanthimala said her affair with Raj Kapoor was a ‘publicity stunt’, an angry Rishi Kapoor called her out: ‘She has no right to twist the facts’
When Raj Kapoor chose Vyjayanthimala in his 1964 film Sangam, rumors swirled that the two had started seeing each other. Raj Kapoor was already married with children at the time and this would have caused a huge rift in the Kapoor household. But according to the Devdas actor, the rumors of their relationship were absolutely false. In his memoir, Bonding…A Memoir, Vyjayanthimala said that RK was “far too enamored with publicity and headlines. And that included the rumors that I was romantically involved with him.
Vyjayanthimala wrote that the rumors of this “nonsense” were the “manipulative fact” of Raj Kapoor’s PR. “No one in the media bothered to seek my point of view. It was absolutely groundless and it made me very angry,” she wrote in her memoir. She shared that during the four years they were doing Sangam, she noticed that RK “wasn’t not obsessed with women, as he was supposed to be”. She accused the advertising wing of RK Studios of having created an image of Raj Kapoor where he was projected as a man who would fall in love with his leading ladies.” Obviously this part of RK being a womanizer and having affairs was part of professional tactics, purely stunt work and propaganda,” she wrote.
The Madhumati actor published his biography in 2007 and the Kapoor family were unhappy with how they dismissed his affair with Raj Kapoor and called him a publicist. Raj Kapoor’s son, late actor Rishi Kapoor, talked about it in his memoir Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored.
Rishi shared that while his father was with Vyjayanthimala, his mother left home. “I was very young when my father had an affair with Nargis Ji, so he wasn’t affected by it. I also don’t remember feeling anything was wrong at home. remember moving into Hotel Natraj on Marine Drive with my mum back when dad was involved with Vyjayanthimala,” he wrote. Rishi wrote that his mum decided to “put his foot down” and had decided that she would not back down until Raj Kapoor ended the affair.
Rishi had also addressed Vyjayanthimala’s denial of the matter. He wrote: “In an interview published a few years ago, Vyjayanthimala denied ever having an affair with my father. She claimed he fabricated the romance because of his thirst for publicity. I was livid. How could she be so jaded? and pretend the affair never happened? She had no right to distort the facts simply because he was no longer there to defend the truth.
“When his book (Vyjayanthimala) came out, many friends in the media contacted me for my reaction. I told them what I thought. Over time, my anger subsided. I admit that the people throw light on uncomfortable facts for their own reasons, but I can say with certainty that if Dad were alive, she wouldn’t have so blatantly denied the matter or called him greedy for publicity” , he had written.