Amidst constant murmurs of trouble in Malaika Arora and Arbaaz Khan's 18-year-old marriage, things seem to have finally come to a head. Turns out, Malaika has made up her mind about filing for divorce and she's not listening to anyone, not even her brother-in-law Salman, whose repeated attempts to patch things up between the troubled couple have come to a naught.
Malaika and Arbaaz first raised eyebrows when they signed up as hosts for the reality TV show, 'Power Couple', but filmed together for barely three episodes. When they eventually agreed to appear together after much cajoling, they'd arrive in separate cars, use individual green rooms and leave separately. Sources from the set informed Mirror that Malaika had walked out of their Bandra home with 14-year-old son, Arhaan, three months ago and rented an apartment in Khar.
Malaika didn't turn up for sister Amrita Arora Ladak's 35th birthday in Dubai on January 31, since Arbaaz was in attendance. She was also a no-show at sister-in-law Arpita Khan Sharma's baby showers in Dubai and Mumbai in February.
On February 29, the couple made another rare public appearance together, on the TV show, 'Yaar Mera Superstar', where Arbaaz addressed the separation rumours. "I love Malaika but I'm possessive about her. It wasn't like this when she was younger or I was new into the relationship. She is precious to me. I'm afraid of losing her now," he had confessed. Off camera too, Arbaaz has been putting up a brave front as he works towards finding his feet as a filmmaker.
And while his grand gesture remained ignored, big brother Salman Khan stepped in for some more damage control. Bhai arranged for a family dinner at his favourite Bandra restaurant to help the couple sort out their differences. Sister Amrita and her husband, Shakeel Ladak, with whom Malaika shares a close bond, and mom, Joyce Polycarp, were invited to the intervention of sorts on March 2. But Malaika would have none of it. After she left the party, Malaika dropped a thinly-veiled jibe on the social media. "Hey I found your nose, it was in my business again," she wrote.
Sallu was then spotted at the Colors Golden Petal Awards on March 6 and sat with Malaika in the front row. "He hugged her and held her hand protectively as they chatted away," said a source present at the event. "Salman went on stage for his performance and Malaika cheered him on. Later, the duo then headed to Salman's green room."
Malaika has informed Salman and the Khan-daan that she has been single-handedly providing for Arhaan financially, even paying for his exorbitant school tuition fees. A close friend of the 42-year-old model-celebrity judge confirmed that Malaika is separated and will file for divorce. And while Sallu took it upon himself to help out, parents Salim and Salma Khan have left it to the couple to sort out their issues.
Malaika was an 18-year-old model when she had first met Arbaaz, while shooting for a coffee advertisement in 1992. By the end of the shoot, they were in love and dated for five years before tying the knot.