Having a child with Viv Richards without marriage was a wrong decision, says Neena Gupta

Neena Gupta and Vivian Richards.

News East West

MUMBAI: Neena Gupta, who became the first celebrity unwed mother 26 years ago when she gave birth to her daughter Masaba with cricket legend Vivian Richards, says that she did it by choice.

But it was a wrong decision, she says, adding that if you want to live in India you should marry.

As she turns 60, Neena tells Bombay Times in an interview that “it was a wrong decision, as it is very difficult to bring up a child alone. You make a child suffer due to your wish and whim. Child does not have that side of the family.’’

Neena, who married Delhi chartered accountant Vivek Mehra in 2008, says that she was warned by her friends not to go ahead with the pregnancy. “But I was young and had the nasha, so did it,” Neena says in the interview.

She says that though her father was deadly opposed to her decision to go ahead with her pregnancy, “once he knew that I had decided, he stood by me like a rock.”

In the interview, Neena says, “If you want to live in India and in society, you have to marry. Do not be this modern woman that I was, saying I don’t believe in marriage. You have to marry. I told Masaba when she fell in love with Madhu Mantena, ‘You are not shifting there till you marry him.’ ”

Masaba, who has just married filmmaker Madhu Mantena, says she is very much attached to her father Vivian Richards whom she visits three to four times a year.

On her parents not getting married, Masaba says in the interview that in her dad’s Caribbean people can have kids with multiple partners without getting married. Richards, who is separated from his wife, currently lives with a girlfriend.

But Masaba says she is grateful that her parents didn’t marry because their marriage “would have ended in a disaster.’’

Masaba says Viv Richards looks strong only from the outside. “But he is a puppy inside.’’

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  1. Its Ok now,you please look after your daughters futre.You should find find pleasure in her future!I am a just fan of yours.I adhore your beauty!

  2. I appreciate your courage of accepting the consequences of the decision you had made and fulfilling your responsibilities so proudly. Not like those women who make wrong decisions everyday and hide them behind the mask of hypocrisy.

  3. I believe in marriage yes but I also believe rather than abortion a child a live should get life he/she has right to be in the world and yes about tlwhat people will accept by such decisions they will just love like they want to so why not we also a chil needs a father but it take guts to be a single mother and bring up a stronger and confident child.

  4. Must have sucked to have a black/African child in India.

    Indians are known for being fairly conservative and proper when it comes to marriage and children. Oh well, her mistake I guess

    Lucky, her daughter didn’t do the same.


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