At 16, Pakistan-born former actress Somy Ali fell in love with Bollywood superstar Salman Khan after watching his performance in the super-hit movie Maine Pyaar Kiya in 1991. She became such a huge fan of Salman that all she wanted was to go to Mumbai and marry him.
"It was 1991 and I was 16. I saw Maine Pyar Kiya (movie), and I went, ‘I have to marry this guy!’ I told my mom that I am going to India tomorrow. She, of course, sent me off to my room, but I kept pleading that I have to go to India and marry this guy — Salman Khan", she told the English-language daily Bombay Times.
As her parents moved to Florida, Somy shifted to Mumbai and started modelling and acting.
“People used to make fun of me because I was this ‘struggling actor’, who was staying at a plush hotel”, she laughed.
However luck was by her side, as Somy not only got to work in movies with popular Bollywood actors like Saif Ali Khan, Suniel Shetty, Sanjay Dutt, but she also got through to Salman and they turned out to be good friends. Rumours of the two dating each other for years also made headlines.
I had No Interest in Acting, My Only Goal was to Marry Salman Khan: Somy Ali— ATUL RAJ (@ATULRAJ1965) February 8, 2021
Salman Khan's former girlfriend Somy Ali says she flew down to Mumbai at the age of 16 only because of her massive crush on the actor and had no interest in movies.@BeingSalmanKhan pic.twitter.com/3PqXBoQaUO
Calling herself a “misfit in the film industry”, Somy confessed: “I had no interest in pursuing a film career, and my only goal was to marry Salman… I was every director’s nightmare and refused to go for rehearsals. I was different from others. I was too Americanised and too much of a tomboy".
In December 1999, Somy left acting and moved to Florida to her parents. She founded an NGO - "No More Tears" and continues to works as an activist for women's rights, as well as with domestic and sexual abuse issues.