New Delhi: She is now caught in a bitter feud with actor Rajesh Khanna's family over his residence Aashirwad where he breathed his last. But Anita Advani is no newcomer in Khanna's life; having spent eight years as companion, lover and friend to the yesteryear star whose fan following waned over the years and few friends rallied around.
Advani, in an interview in May, said she's a childhood friend of the superstar and had been dating Khanna for the past eight years until his death. She is the niece of the former President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos. Advani was a regular visitor to Khanna's bungalow and gave company to the ailing superstar.
They would be seen together, eating paani puri at a local market.
Anita Advani and Rajesh Khanna
"I am great friends with Rajesh Khanna. I have known him for a very long time. I love him... who doesn't," she told Mid-Day at that time. Advani met Khanna at a shooting as a child and but grew close only until recently.
"I feel very privileged to be very-very close to him. He is a very intelligent and romantic person. We hang out. We are at home together. We do go out for dinners and go on after-dinner drives," she said. But the relationship was unique.
"We are so close. We don't want any strings attached. I think we are very happy as we are. It's a very special, sacred relationship and I truly cherish it. Unlike a normal relationship, there are no demands and expectations. This is much deeper," she said.
Khanna had said he had known Advani for 32 years. She was in school then. He is very fond of her but they are not in love. But it has all changed with Khanna's death. Advani rues the fact that Khanna’s family didn’t even allow her to be present during the last rites.
The death has hit her hard. A family member said she was not keeping well. She cried the entire day. She refuses food or water. Khanna passed away on July 18, 2012. He was 69. Advani had sent a legal notice to the superstar's family a day before he died, in a bid to ensure that she isn't evicted from his bungalow Aashirwad.