Bollywood actress Juhi Chawla, a celebrated star of the 90s, has barely talked about her personal life. In a recent interview with Rajeev Masand, she got candid on her secret wedding to businessman Jay Mehta in 1996, a time when she was at the peak of her career. Back then, Bollywood wasn’t really progressive and was known to sideline actresses who tied the knot. She revealed stating that only a few close friends and family members knew of it, as she was afraid of losing her stardom.
“At that time, you did not have the internet and you did not have cameras on every phone, so you could do it that way. I was just about established and doing well. That’s the time Jay was serenading me and I was afraid of losing my career just when I had kind of got there. I wanted to carry on and this seemed the midway,” she said.
Jay, who was previously married to Sujata Birla, lost her in a plane crash in 1990. Juhi revealed that her husband stood by her in difficult times despite his own share of tragedy, especially when she lost her mother. Mona Chawla passed away in 1998 when Juhi was filming for her film Duplicate. “That was a very difficult time for me, because I felt I was going to lose everything I loved”, she said.
Speaking on how the sparks flew between the two, Juhi revealed that they met even before she made her debut in Bollywood. Despite not being in touch, they reconnected a few years later, at a dinner hosted by a friend.
“From then on, everywhere I went, he turned up. Everywhere I looked, he was there with flowers and notes and gifts. Every day! On my birthday, I remember he sent me a truckload of red roses. I was like, ‘What do you do with a truckload of flowers?’ He really did all he could. After a year, he proposed,” she said.
Jay and Juhi have been married for almost 25 years now and have two children – a daughter named Janhavi and son named Arjun – together.