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Story of split was for product promo: Malaika and Arbaaz
By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, April 18 A day after the shocking story of a split in one of filmdom's most durable marriages rocked Mumbai, Arbaaz Khan and Malaika Arora Friday said it was a publicity stunt gone horribly wrong.
"It is part of an ad campaign for a product that Arbaaz and I are launching. Rather re-launching. See, the concept of the ad is that he comes towards the end and re-proposes to me. What was told to the press was that Arbaaz was getting remarried. I don't know how and when, where they came up with the rest (of the story)," Maliaka told IANS.
Hubby and 'co-conspirator' Arbaaz said: "We thought the campaign would come and go. But in no time a section of the media jumped on to the campaign line 'Arbaaz to re-marry' and made up their own screenplay about my break up with Malaika.
"By god's grace we're very happy together and we don't need to resort to gimmicks to stay in the news."
But what started as a public relation (PR) exercise, to generate curiosity and interest in consumer products, soon got out of hand.
"A friend of mine sent a message saying, we always look up to your marriage as a role-model for the institution. I was inundated with calls and messages," says Malaika.
While Malaika seemed uncomfortable with the whole situation, Arbaaz was fuming at the media.
"Honestly, Malaika and I never thought it'd blow up into this unsavoury story. And we never thought media persons would latch on to the remarriage strategy in the campaign and create a whole story about our break up," said Arbaaz.
But in a society where marriage is held sacrosanct, what about the ethical aspects of the campaign?
"I completely agree with you. We've worked very hard to make our marriage a success. To us it's the most sacred thing in our lives. That's why we were very clear that the ad campaign shouldn't look tacky. Of course the PR people have their way of doing things. And we definitely expressed our reservations to them," said Malaika sounding remorseful about the decision.
But Arbaaz was more candid and said: "We're professionals and today marketing a product entails all sorts of machinations that we as the endorsers don't have to agree with."
To cut the long story short, do you regret doing the campaign?
"Not really," said Arbaaz.
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