From showbiz to circus: Celebrities who aired their dirty laundry in 2022

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KARACHI:
The circus is dying and the entertainment industry is thriving. What used to be the only grand, classless form of public entertainment shifted to the sidelines as both entertainers and activists emphasised the importance of risking human and animal lives. And frankly speaking, technology and less labour-intensive forms of entertainment just made the show business much easier to execute and enjoy.

While the circus might be fading away from our imagination as a performing ring, the connotations and the baggage associated with the terminology have not, so every time something entertaining gets a little too off the charts with no clear protagonist and antagonist, you’re bound to call it a circus.

As we witnessed Pakistan recover from the political circus that kept on getting wild in 2022, we also saw celebrities air their dirty laundry and draw claws at each other in a truly ‘wild’ manner. The line between the reel and real got blurred to an extent that we could see our favourite stars deceive their perfectly well-kept public images to settle personal scores like performers in an amphitheatre.

1. Exes fly off the handle

Actor Mikaal Zulfikar announced his divorce in 2017 on Facebook without getting into the nitty-gritty of the separation. However, this year in a tell-all interview with an English publication, Zulfiqar opened up about being ‘scarred and scared’ of tying the knot for the third time.

“I am still scarred and scared but I am open to the idea. I don’t think about it all the time, though. I am very busy with work and I have my girls,” he shared with the outlet. He also added how in his married life, he felt the “pressure to clarify things” with his wife as “the nature of this work” can lead the spouse to make baseless assumptions.

What many had not anticipated was that his ex-wife, Sara Bhatti, would take the sentiments personally and take to social media to offer her side of the story as well. “There is absolutely no truth to the statements about me in this article. I was an extremely supportive wife who took the entire responsibility on her shoulders alone just so Mikaal could travel and work, which he did non-stop. I never ever questioned him about the women he worked with. Yes, I did question him about the things which had actual ‘truth’ in them,” she wrote on Instagram.

Although Zulfiqar made no further comments on the situation, the cat was already out of the bag, and the news made rounds on the internet, with many spectators chiming in to share their own take on the former couple’s relationship problems. The online confrontation between the two was short-lived but definitely gave enough for fans to present theories about the personal lives of public figures.

2. The blame game

The fiasco involving singer Aima Baig, and UK-based filmmaker Qes Ahmed remains the biggest gossip news of the year.

It all started when British supermodel Taloulah Mair posted screenshots of a conversation between Ahmed and Baig, claiming to be the evidence of the singer’s alleged cheating on her former fiancé Shahbaz Shigri. The singer who had disclosed her split with Shigri a few days back, responded to the whole situation, by calling it “straight-up bullying and targeting.”

Tired of the perpetual cyberbullying, the singer took to Instagram and expressed her disappointment with fans believing “some random people who are only looking for a few followers without even knowing the actual truth and the real story behind it.”

Ahmed and Mair on the other hand continued their spats online with more and more intimate details being exchanged. In this whole debacle, Baig certainly spoke out only to defend herself in public, but unfortunately, it didn’t work. Judging by the memes that followed the Baazi singer’s controversy, it was clear that women public figures can’t get away as easily as men do.

3. Trouble in paradise

The two lovebirds and fellow actors, Sunita Marshall and Hassan Ahmed have long retained a healthy image of their relationship in the media. And to be honest, after this incident it looks as if the duo might be the most mature celebrity couple in the industry.

Back in November, Marshall gave an interview to a local magazine about her life and touched upon the struggles Hassan faced as an actor. However, the Beqadar star did not like his better half’s comments and categorically stated that whatever was said, was “Sunita’s version of events.” He also went on to say that the statements were “incorrect”, and even if they were correct, only he has the right to talk about his struggles and only he gets to decide when and whether he even should.

Although Hassan’s feeling attacked took fans by surprise and almost all of them grabbed their popcorn, it was Marshall who stopped the controversy from being fueled further, by uploading a picture of the couple embracing each other. Regardless of the end results, it does seem like this situation went public from a misunderstanding but was dealt with wisely.

4. Blunders

We often see celebrities with a perfect lens, forgetting that they too are capable of making mistakes in moments of weakness. Veteran actor Saba Faisal is one such celebrity who did air her dirty laundry online, but later deleted all videos and requested everyone to forget about it.

Although Faisal regretted putting her family’s issues in the spotlight, the entire episode should serve as a reminder for all to never use social media as a personal venting journal.

In the clip that triggered the controversy, the Rehbra actor announced her family’s separation from her son Salman Faisal and his wife of four years, Neha Salman. About why she posted the video at an ungodly hour, she said, “It was a sensitive time for me when I posted that video online. I shouldn’t have done that and I regret it.”

5. Third time’s not the charm

Late televangelist Aamir Liaquat Hussain’s marriage to his third wife, Dania Shah was the model representation of how couples could make a social media fortune by performing together on Tiktok and related platforms. But it seems like it was the same craze for social media attention that led to their eventual fall.

After the two married in February this year, things took quite a drastic turn as just three months later Shah announced her decision to part ways due to the [alleged] abuse committed by her partner. The aftermath of this accusation was pure chaos. The two maintained some lewd remarks about each other and distasteful allegations were levelled from both ends, but before the bystanders could grab any sense of the situation, Hussain was found dead at his home in Karachi on June 9, at the age of 50.

It’s impertinent to mention that before Hussain’s death, a video was made viral that showed the late TV Host’s nude body. Following his death, many people accused Shah of posting their private videos online and later, Syeda Bushra Iqbal, Hussain’s first ex-wife, announced that she plans on filing a case against Shah, with the cybercrime wing, which is currently under investigation.

Last week, Shah was taken into custody by the FIA for the same case. Her bail was later denied. Iqbal, on the other hand, has rubbished claims of Shah’s mother where she dragged the former for ‘conspiring’ her arrest. The matter still remains sub judice.