Veteran actress Neena Gupta was one of the most popular Bollywood celebrities in the 1980s. She managed to carve her career path at a very young age, starting with a TV career and ending up on the silver screen.
One of the most scandalized events of her life was her steaming affair with legendary cricketer Sir Vivian Richards. The couple went on to have a daughter out of a wedlock.
From living in a society that shunned her to pursuing her acting career to being a single parent, Neena Gupta has had her fair share of life experiences. The actor finally found love at the age of 42 when she met Vivek Mehra, a charted accountant from Delhi. The couple finally tied the knot in 2018.
Neena and Vivian’s first meeting
Neena Gupta and Sir Vivian Richard’s romance brewed in the late 1980s when the cricketer was in India for an international test series. Vivian was married, but separated from his wife, with whom he shared two children. It is said that he met Neena at a party in Mumbai where the romance began.
Dating and pregnancy
The couple began dating and became one of the most popular celebrity couples. Neena Gupta soon shared the news of her pregnancy but had no intention on getting married to Sir Vivian. At the time, having a child out of wedlock was not a concept many knew. Nevertheless, she stood against the wishes of her friends and family, and she went ahead with her pregnancy to give birth to her love child, Masaba Gupta.
Masaba’s relationship with Sir Vivian
Masaba opened up about her relationship with her father in a 2017 interview. “Through the time when I was between 8 till I turned 14, I remember my holidays with my father. He was very active in commentary then, travelling the world, and he would come to India quite often. I never really stayed with him, but mom and I would go on holidays with him.”
Neena Gupta shared that she would reconsider her decision if she could go back in time, owing to the bad press Masaba often received. She said, “I would not have a child outside marriage. Every child needs both parents. I was always honest with Masaba, so it did not affect our relationship, but I know she suffered.” There have been times when journalists have been inconsiderate, from the time one outed her birth certificate to another calling Masaba an “illegitimate West-Indian”.
Masaba Gupta, however, never backed down. Her journey of self-discovery and self-love has been inspirational and commendable. One of the notes she has penned down on social media read, “When I am asked who I am or who I want to be, I never really have an answer. My grandfather was from Benaras, my mother is from Old Delhi. My great-grandmother from Lahore. And my father from the Caribbean. But I have my eyes on the world. Then how can I be just one thing?”
Masaba Gupta owns House of Masaba, a high-end fashion label and is one of the most popular fashion designers today. She has been a judge on the show Supermodel Of The Year and also starred in Masaba Masaba on Netflix, a web series based on her life.