In a shocking turn of events, Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao have announced their split after being married for 15 years. The couple issued a joint statement to break the news to the world, and revealed that while they might have parted ways, the duo will co-parent their son, Azad. The couple has also partnered together on different projects including the Paani Foundation, and will continue with their professional partnership on any ‘other projects that (they) feel passionate about’ as well.

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Khan and Rao had first met during the shoot of Lagaan. Khan played the lead role in the film while Rao was working as an assistant director. The two tied the knot on December 28, 2005. Khan was previously married to Reena Dutta and has two children, Junaid Khan and Ira Khan, with her.

The joint statement issued by Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao read, “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. 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.”

“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. 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,” the statement read further.

The couple concluded by adding, “A big thank you to our families and friends for their constant support and understanding about this evolution in our relationship, and 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. Thanks and love, Kiran and Aamir.”

Earlier during an interview, Khan had opened up about his relationship with Rao and said “Kiran was one of the ADs (assistant directors) on that but at that time, we didn’t have any relationship, we were not even great friends. She was one of the people on the unit. It was after my separation and divorce after some time that I met her again.” The two had welcomed Azad in 2011 seven years after their marriage.