Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao announce divorce after 15 years of marriage
In a joint statement, they said, "In these 15 beautiful years together we have shared a lifetime of experiences, joy and laughter, and our relationship has only grown in trust, respect and love. Now we would like to begin a new chapter in our lives - no longer as husband and wife, but as co-parents and family for each other. We began a planned separation some time ago, and now feel comfortable to formalise this arrangement, of living separately yet sharing our lives the way an extended family does."
"We remain devoted parents to our son Azad, who we will nurture and raise together. We will also continue to work as collaborators on films, Paani Foundation, and other projects that we feel passionate about. A big thank you to our families and friends for their constant support and understanding about this evolution in our relationship, and without whom we would not have been so secure in taking this leap," read an excerpt from their statement.
They described their divorce as the start of a "new journey" and added, "We request our well-wishers for good wishes and blessings, and hope that - like us - you will see this divorce not as an end, but as the start of a new journey," they said.
Aamir Khan was previously married to Reena Dutta, with whom he has a daughter named Ira Khan and a son named Junaid. Ira has studied music, while her brother Junaid often assists his father in filmmaking. Ira made her directorial debut with a theatrical adaptation of Euripides' Medea, which starred Hazel Keech in the titular role.
The 56-year-old actor, whose film about wrestling, "Dangal", made him the top Indian star in China, was divorced from actor Reena Dutta in 2002.
Khan and Rao, 47, thanked their family and friends "without whom we would not have been so secure in taking this leap".
Amir Khan, a Muslim, is an activist for humanitarian and political causes and said in 2015 that growing "intolerance" against Muslims and intellectuals in India had led to Rao, a Hindu, suggesting they leave the country.
He has been working on a remake of the 1994 Hollywood hit "Forrest Gump", titled "Laal Singh Chaddha", which is provisionally due for release at the end of 2021.