When Raj Kapoor cast Vyjayanthimala in his 1964 film Sangam, rumours were rife that the two had started seeing each other. Raj Kapoor was already married with kids at the time and it allegedly caused a huge rift in the Kapoor household. But according to the Devdas actor, rumours of their relationship were absolutely false. In her memoir titled, Bonding… A Memoir, Vyjayanthimala said that RK was “far too enamoured of getting publicity and grab the headlines. And that included the rumours that I was romantically involved with him.”
Vyjayanthimala wrote that the rumours of this ‘nonsense’ were the ‘manipulative doing’ of Raj Kapoor’s PR. “Nobody from the media bothered to seek my point of view. This was absolutely baseless and made me very angry,” she wrote in her memoir. She shared that during the four years that they were making Sangam, she had noticed that RK “was not obsessed about women, like he was made out to be.” She accused the publicity wing of RK Studios of creating an image of Raj Kapoor where he was projected as a man who would fall in love with his leading ladies. “Obviously, this bit about RK being a womaniser and having affairs was all part of professional tactics, purely a stunt and propaganda,” she wrote.
The Madhumati actor published her biography in 2007 and the Kapoor family was not very pleased with how she had dismissed her affair with Raj Kapoor and called him publicity driven. Raj Kapoor’s son, late actor Rishi Kapoor addressed this in his memoir Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored.
Rishi shared that during his father’s with Vyjayanthimala, his mother had moved out of the house. “I was very young when my father had an affair with Nargis Ji, and so was not affected by it. I don’t remember feeling anything was amiss at home either. But I do remember moving into the Natraj Hotel on Marine Drive with my mom during the time Papa was involved with Vyjayanthimala,” he had written. Rishi wrote that his mother had decided to “put her foot down” and had decided that she won’t give in until Raj Kapoor ended the affair.
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Rishi had also addressed Vyjayanthimala’s denial of the affair. He wrote, “In an interview published a few years ago, Vyjayanthimala denied ever having an affair with my father. She claimed that he had manufactured the romance because of his hunger for publicity. I was livid. How could she be so blasé; and pretend the affair never happened? She had no right to distort facts just because he was no longer around to defend the truth.”
“When her (Vyjayanthimala) book came out, many friends in the media contacted me to know my reaction. I told them what I thought. With time, my anger subsided. I admit that people throw light on uncomfortable facts for their own reasons, but I can say with full certainty that if Papa was alive, she would not have denied the affair so blatantly or called him publicity hungry,” he had written.