Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan announces divorce

Aamir Khan (right) and Kiran Rao released a statement saying they would raise their son together and still work on joint projects.
Aamir Khan (right) and Kiran Rao released a statement saying they would raise their son together and still work on joint projects.PHOTO: REUTERS

MUMBAI (AFP) - Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan announced on Saturday (July 3) that he is splitting with his wife of 15 years, film-maker Kiran Rao.

The A-list couple released a statement saying their break-up had been agreed, but they would raise their son together and still work on joint projects.

"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," they said.

"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."

Khan and Rao met while shooting a film in 2001, which she was the assistant director for, and they married in December 2005.

The 56-year-old actor, whose 2016 film about wrestling, Dangal, made him the top Indian star in China, got divorced from first wife Reena Dutta in 2002.

"We began a planned separation some time ago, and now feel comfortable to formalise this arrangement, of living separately yet sharing our lives the way an extended family does," Khan and Rao said.

"We remain devoted parents to our son Azad, who we will nurture and raise together. We will also continue to work as collaborators on films, Paani Foundation, and other projects that we feel passionate about."

Khan and Rao, 47, thanked their family and friends, "without whom we would not have been so secure in taking this leap".

"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."

Khan, a Muslim, is an activist for humanitarian and political causes, and said in 2015 that growing "intolerance" against Muslims and intellectuals in India had led to Rao, a Hindu, suggesting they leave the country.

He has been working on a remake of the 1994 Hollywood hit Forrest Gump, titled Laal Singh Chaddha, which is provisionally due for release at the end of the year.