While Om Puri was truly a great artist of international repute, his personal life was very turbulent, and his several outbursts in public (leading to controversies) reveals a not-so-strong person in the inside.
Om Puri married Seema Kapoor, actor Annu Kapoor’s sister in 1993. Seema revealed that, within the first few months itself of their marriage, Om cheated on her with Nandita, a journalist who he’d go on to marry. Seema thought it was a fling but it did not fizzle out. In her absence, Nandita used to stay with Om. A deeply traumatized Seema, who was pregnant then, eventually lost her baby.
Om’s first marriage lasted for less than a year!
However, Om never accepted that his affair with Nandita led to his divorce with Seema. In an interview to Filmfare, he had said, “She was 10 years younger to me. She was not outspoken, she couldn’t convey what she felt uncomfortable about. A misunderstanding developed. It was unfortunate that we separated.”
A disturbed Annu Kapoor, Seema’s brother, in an interview with Bombay Times said, “Just because someone is a good artist does not make him a good human being. An actor lives in the world of make believe but the definition of a good human being is different.”
Om later married Nandita in 1993, and the two had a son named ‘Ishaan’, but their marriage was extremely volatile, which only got worse with time.
Nandita who authored Om’s biography ‘Om Puri: An Unlikely Hero’ included sensational details of Om’s many sexual escapades, including one where he had sex with his maid at the age of 14.
Om was livid and dubbed the book as semi-porn, “It is a semi-porn book, which failed to take off. Om is not a hero. Who is interested in the bedroom life of a character artiste? I had asked friend Aparajita to pen the book, but Nandita went hysterical and snatched the project from her.”
“I had shared these dark secrets with my wife as all husbands do. If she chose to make them public at least she should’ve made sure to maintain a dignity about experiences that are a valuable part of my life. Has she forgotten that I have a standing in society and I’ve worked hard to achieve all that I have today? I won’t allow her to throw it all away for the sake of sensationalism.”
Things took a drastic turn when in August 2013, Nandita filed a case of domestic violence against Om at the Versova police station. In a PTI interview, Om said, “I have been working in the industry for 35 years, have acted in over 250 films here in 20 films abroad but no complaint of abuse or beating or misbehavior or anything negative has ever come out against me. It shows she is lying.”
In 2013, the two decided to get separated.
Here are few more controversies that Om Puri got into, some of which led to many calling him anti-national.
- Om Puri lashed out at the politicians. when Anna Hazare went on a hunger strike. He called them illiterate and was ashamed of the fact that an IPA officer would actually salute them. “Yeh anpadh hain, inka kya background hai? Aadhe se zyaada MP ganwaar hain,” said OM. Soon he expressed his regret and said that he respected the Parliament and the constitution of India.
- During a TV debate with an army soldier and his martyred son, he went to the extent of saying – who had asked the soldiers to join the army? Who told them to pick the weapons? A case was later filed against him. He later said he was embarrassed by his comments.
- When Aamir Khan made the ‘unsafe in India’ controversial statement, Om Puri criticised the actor saying “I am shocked Aamir Khan and his wife feel that way. I find Aamir’s reaction to intolerance overblown and intolerable.”
- Om got himself in trouble again by calling those, who imposed the beef ban in India, hypocrites. “Who wanted to put a ban on slaughtering cows in the country were hypocrites. We export beef and earn dollars from it.”