In the 1980s, Rati Agnihotri was known for starring in popular films such as 'Ek Duuje Ke Liye' and 'Coolie'. At the peak of her career, in 1985, she married architect Anil Virwani after a whirlwind courtship.
The dam broke, so to speak, on March 7, when she was alone at home with Virwani and her son, Tanuj, was away for a film shoot in Pune. Realising that she might one day perhaps die of the assault, Agnihotri finally gathered the courage to report the matter the police, using evidence she had reportedly gathered using her smartphone.
Now, in a number of interviews to leading publications, Agnihotri has finally opened up about the relentless torture and abuse she faced at the hands of her husband for nearly three whole decades. According to a detailed interview in Mumbai Mirror, the violence started in the early years of their marriage and became progressively more frequent as time passed. She endured it, hoping he would change, while maintaining the facade of the radiant and beautiful wife of a successful careerist.
The damage was cruel, but effectively hidden from the world, since they were always strategically aimed at body parts that would not be visible.
When asked why she kept quiet for so long, she cited her son and the sanctity of marriage as reasons. "I believed in love. Anil was the man I had married despite the fact that my parents had never liked him. And like every girl I'd dreamt of a picture-perfect life with a husband who cared and provided for me. For all these years I'd hoped... prayed... that things would change, that he would change," she told Mumbai Mirror.
She also rubbished reports of her being depressed, saying that while Virwani shut himself up at home, she was the one who tried to live life normally and only recently went silent because she "needed time to think."
The police are still investigating the matter as Virwani claims Agnihotri's charges are false. Meanwhile, the actress has said she will be "fair" to Virwani.