"There are people in the industry who've ten affairs, but no one is talking about them. I've had two or three affairs and
people just want to pounce on me."
(Rediff, Aug. 1998)

When the gossip columns refer to the "Playboy," everyone knows who they're talking about: Rajesh Bhatia, who under the screen name 'Akshay Kumar' has created equal fame for his daring stuntwork and his freewheeling love life.

Akshay Kumar   A trained judo, taekwando, and karate expert, Akshay began to take martial arts classes as a young boy living in Singapore. Later he moved to Bombay, where he took a job as a marital arts instructor. A student successfully recommended him for a modeling job, bringing his face to the attention of industry movers and shakers, and the rest is history -- albeit a very messy one.

   Akshay's rapid-fire string of affairs quickly set gossip columns afire and left several women muttering viciously to the press about his poor treatment of them. Those he has been linked to include Pooja Batra, Ayesha Jhulka, Raveena Tandon (to whom he was briefly engaged, and who briefly retired from films for him), Mahima Choudhary, and Shilpa Shetty. Rumor has it that he was still dating Shilpa when he fixed on the woman he would later marry: Twinkle Khanna, daughter of screen legend Dimple Kapadia and a well-known actress in her own right.

   Despite being happily married, he still faces speculation from the press regarding his love life. Such buzz has soured him on the media. "I have wised up. The more I speak, the more I get embroiled in controversies. I've been linked with every heroine. And even though I'm married now, the rumours just don't stop." (Zee Screen)

    However, recent gossip focuses more on his chivalry than seductions. At a Diwali party in 2002, he exchanged blows with Shakti Kapoor, after, Shakti claims, Shakti caught him cheating at cards. Akshay has another version of the story for the January 2003 issue of Filmfare Magazine: "Shakti was an uninvited guest at the party. He was using foul language and it was embarrassing because there were so many ladies present. He was so drunk he couldn't even stand up straight. All I did was give him a slight shove and he was down on the floor. If he says he saw me cheating at cards, he's lying. He was so drunk he didn't know what he himself was doing. I regret even touching him. Later I asked myself why I even wasted my energy on a drunk. Anyway it's too late for regrets now."

   Shakti replies, "Akki was cheating in the game. I told him not to do it. He pushed me and I fell. He did not slap me. I left the party after that because I didn't want it to get ugly. Akki's still a friend though we haven't spoken after this incident." Filmfare itself takes a stand on the issue: "Akshay Kumar is certainly in no mood to speak to Shakti Kapoor. He showed us an expletive-filled SMS that Shakti sent him the morning after the incident. Sorry, we can't reproduce it--we don't want to get arrested!" (Filmfare, Jan. 2003)

    If Akshay is telling the truth, it seems that this knight is well on the way to polishing his once-tarnished armor.

 

Akshay Kumar
born: September 9, 1967
height: 6' 1"

FILMS
1991 Dancer
1991 Saugandh
1992 Deedar
1992 Khiladi
1992 Mr. Bond
1993 Ashaant
1993 Dil Ki Baazi
1993 Hum Hain Bemisaal
1993 Sainik
1993 Waqt Hamara Hai
1993
Zakhmi Dil
1994 Amaanat
1994 Elan
1994 Ikke Pe Ikka
1994 Jai Kishen
1994 Main Khiladi Tu Anaari*
1994 Mohra*
1994 Pandav
1994 Suhaag
1994 Yeh Dillagi
1994
Zaalim
1995 Maidan-e-Jung
1995 Nazar Ke Samne
1995 Prince
1995 Sab Se Bada Khiladi
1995 Tu Chor Main Sipahi
1996 Khiladiyon ki Khiladi
1996 Sapoot
1997 Aflatoon
1997 Daava
1997 Dil To Pagal Hai*
1997 Insaaf
1997 Lahoo Ke Do Rang
1997 Mr. and Mrs. Khiladi
1997 Tarazu
1998 Angaarey
1998 Barood
1998 Das Numbri
1998 Keemat
1998 Nihata
1999 Aarzoo
1999 International Khiladi
1999 Jaanwar
1999 Zulmi
2000 Dhadkan*
2000 Hera Pheri*
2000 Khiladi 420
2001 Ajnabee*
2001 Ek Rishtaa*
2002 Aankhen

2002 Awaara Paagal Deewana
2002 Haan Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya
2002 Jaani Dushman

2003 Andaaz
2003 Talaash
2003 Khakee
2004 Aan - Men At Work
2004 Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo
2004 Aitraaz
2004 Mujshe Shaadi Karoge
* acclaimed performance


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