Shaakunthalam producer Neelima Guna has lashed out at rumours that Samantha Akkineni and Naga Chaitanya ended their marriage because the Family Man 2 star did not want to have a baby. In an interview, Neelima revealed that when her father, director Gunasekhar, offered Shaakunthalam to Samantha last year, the actress turned it down because she wanted to start a family with Chaitanya.
“When my father, director Gunasekhar garu approached Samantha last year for Shaakunthalam, she loved the story and was excited. But, she told us shooting must be wrapped up by July or August as she was planning to start a family with Naga Chaitanya," Neelima told Hyderabad Times.
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The producer even stated that Samantha was contemplating saying yes to the role as she was worried it would take up too much time. “She wanted to be a mother; she told us that was her priority. Period films take time and she was really apprehensive to say yes. But we assured that due to extensive pre-production, we had cut down on a lot of time. She was happy and on-board as soon as she heard this," says Neelima, adding, “She wanted to plan a family, take a break and look after her children. We didn’t take a break through the schedules because we wanted to accommodate her request."
Meanwhile, Samantha Akkineni on Friday responded to “false rumours and stories" being spread in the media against her after she and actor Naga Chaitanya announced their separation. In a statement posted on her Twitter and Instagram accounts, Samantha said divorce is “an extremely painful process" anyway but the “relentless personal attacks" have made it more difficult.
“They say I had affairs, never wanted children, that I am an opportunist and now that I have had abortions. A divorce in itself is an extremely painful process. Let alone allowing me the time to heal. This attack on me personally, has been relentless. But I promise you this, I will never allow this or anything else they say, break me," the 34-year-old actress wrote.
Samantha and Chaitanya, who tied the knot in October 2017, had announced their separation last week in a joint statement. The duo said they have decided to “part ways as husband and wife to pursue our own paths".
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