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Nawazuddin Siddiqui to withdraw memoir, apologises for ‘hurting sentiments’

Siddiqui’s ‘Miss Lovely’ co-star Niharika Singh and former girlfriend Sunita Rajwar have criticised the actor over his biography.

Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui on Monday said he would withdraw his autbiography, An Ordinary Life, from circulation and apologised to “everyone whose sentiments are hurt” because of the “chaos around his memoir”. The book was set to be launched on November 2.

Siddiqui’s tweet came after his Miss Lovely co-star Niharika Singh and former girlfriend Sunita Rajwar criticised his description of the nature of his relationships with them.

The decision had been taken by Siddiqui and his publisher, Penguin Random House India, three days ago, his publicist told Scroll.in. “Given the entire controversy, he felt that he shouldn’t hurt any more sentiments,” the publicist said. “Nawazuddin is not denying any of the incidents in the book, but he wants to apologise to everyone, especially Niharika and Sunita. This was a mutual decision taken along with the publisher.”

A lawyer in Delhi has also filed a complaint with the National Commission for Women, alleging that Siddiqui had outraged Singh’s modesty, Mid-Day reported.

“I don’t know Niharika Singh personally nor have I spoken to her,” advocate Gautam Gulati, who filed the complaint, told Mid-Day. “I have lodged a complaint with the NCW with a request to give direction for the registration of an FIR. He [Siddiqui] was evidently married when he was having an affair with Niharika, and kept her in the dark about it.”

“The actor has published it without having second thoughts about how this kind of act can ruin the married life of the victim,” Gulati wrote in the complaint. “For minting money and garnering free publicity for his book, the actor has bargained the modesty of a woman.”

In the book, Siddiqui claims that his affair with Singh went on for a year-and-a-half, and was set into motion after a “life-altering visit” to Singh’s apartment.

But Singh remembered the encounter differently. “Nawaz and I had a brief relationship during the making of Miss Lovely that lasted less than a few months in 2009,” she told Bollywood Life in an interview. “So today when he paints me as a woman in fur enticing him into her bedroom with candles, or desperately calling him and mailing other women on his behalf, I can only laugh. He obviously wants to sell his book and it would appear that he is willing to exploit and disrespect a woman just to do so.”

Sunita Rajwar, a television actor, also slammed Siddiqui’s memoir as “An Ordinary Life of Extraordinary Lives. In a Facebook post, Rajwar accused Siddiqui of making up facts, and said that she had left him not because he was poor, but because of his “impoverished thinking”.

Siddiqui writes in An Ordinary Life, which has been co-authored with journalist Rituparna Chatterjee about Rajwar, “Sunita had fallen madly in love with me. Every day, she would come over, hang out at my house in Mira Road and scrawl our names in tiny font all over the wall... Then she went off on a holiday to her home town in the hills to see her folks. When she returned, Sunita would not take any of my calls. And when she did at last, I was flabbergasted. After such a deep, passionate love, she simply said, ‘Nawaz, you focus on your career. And I will focus on my career.’ She cut off all contact after that and I plunged into another deep, deep depression. I took a bucket of fresh white paint and began to replace her artwork on my walls with the blank canvas that they were before...”

Siddiqui claimed that Rajwar’s alleged rejection nearly drove him to suicide. “ [Sunita must have been advised] she should probably date someone successful, not a struggling, desperate actor who was out of work. Today, Sunita tells everybody that she was once together with me in a very serious relationship. Incredible, isn’t it?”

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