Malaika Arora, who was married to Arbaaz Khan, spoke about the popularity in Bollywood being associated with the Khan family. Malaika and Arbaaz parted ways in May 2017 after 19 years of marriage. Talking about her decision to drop the ‘Khan’ surname and go back to her maiden one, Malaika recalled people telling her that the surname came with a lot of ‘weightage.’
Malaika at the India Today Conclave 2023 was asked about her success being attributed to the Khan family. She replied, “It did have a lot of benefits in my life but I don't think I could rest on the fact that I had a famous surname. I don't think that was my endow to everything I wanted to do in my life. It did open up a lot of doors for me but I think at the end of the day I have to work irrespective of my married surname. And, I had to work hard and prove myself every single day of my life to stay in the game. And, the day I had the surname name and I went back to my maiden name I still continued to work, make a difference.”
“I had loads of people tell me that I am making the biggest mistake of dropping the surname. A lot of people telling me 'you don't realise the weightage a surname has.' I have a lot of respect for my ex-inlaws and ex-family, they have given me a lot of love. I have a kid, and I am very much part of the family, but for me, I needed to stand on my own two feet...and not just about the surname. For me being able to drop the surname and going back to my maiden surname, it just gave me a sense of self. That just made me feel I could take on or do anything in life,” Malaika added.
Malaika and Arbaaz got married in 1998. They finalized their divorce in 2017 and have a son together, Arhaan Khan, whom they are co-parenting.
During the event, Malaika also touched upon raising son Arhaan and co-parenting with Arbaaz. She also talked about her career and how she managed to stay relevant even after years in the industry.