Bollywood couple Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao shocked fans on Saturday by announcing their separation, after more than 15 years of marriage.
The couple released a joint statement to the press saying that they had started a planned separation some time ago and now feel comfortable formalising the arrangement. Going forward, they will be “living separately yet sharing our lives the way an extended family does", 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," the statement reads.
The couple emphasised that they remain committed to their son Azad, 9, who they will raise together. They will also continue to work as collaborators on films and for the Paani Foundation, the non-profit they started which works in drought prevention, as well as other projects they are passionate about.
They ended the statement by thanking friends and family for their support.
“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.
Khan and Rao met on the set of the blockbuster Lagaan, in which Khan played the lead, and Rao was the assistant director. They tied the knot in 2005, three years after Khan divorced his first wife, Reena Dutta, with whom he has two children.
Aamir Khan is famously private, especially when it comes to his personal life. Earlier this year, he announced he would be taking a break from social media.