Born on January 18, 1975, Monica Bedi's birthplace is Chabbewal village, Punjab. She was four when her parents Dr. Prem Kumar Bedi and Shakuntala Bedi moved to Norway. She has studied literature from Oxford University, United Kingdom. Simultaneously, she completed her acting education from Delhi University. Monica started her career as an actress in Bollywood films during the mid-nineties.
Monica Bedi made her acting debut with Telugu film 'Taj Mahal' which was directed by the legendary D Rama Naidu. In the same year (1995), she made her Bollywood debut - Surakshaa, starring Suniel Shetty, Saif Ali Khan and Aditya Pancholi. However, the film fared poorly at the Box Office and Bedi hardly got any recognition for her role.
During the 90s she acted in several Bollywood films opposite some of Bollywood's leading actors. She starred in films namely - Aashique Mastane, Khilona, Ek Phool Teen Kante, Tirchhi Topiwale, Zanjeer, Kalicharan, Jaanam Samjha Karo, Jodi No.1 and Pyaar, Ishq Aur Mohabbat.
However, in the early 2000s, Monica Bedi started to stay away from Bollywood. The reason? Her personal life became a matter of national interest.
Right at the peak of the career, But Monica Bedi gained notoriety as gangster Abu Salem's girlfriend. The duo's love story started in the late '90s during a Dubai show. Salem would allegedly make calls to Bollywood filmmakers to cast her.
Monica Bedi then vanished, only to then make headlines when she was arrested along with mafia don Abu Salem in Lisbon in September 2002 for entering Portugal using forged documents and deported from Portugal in November 2005.
Monica Bedi and Abu Salem were deported after a nearly four-year-long legal battle, only once India assured that Salem would not get the death penalty.
On her return to India, Monica Bedi was jailed and only released in Hyderabad in July 2007. She tried to re-start her Bollywood career. Among others, Bedi was seen in 'Bigg Boss' season 2 and 'Jhalak Dikhlaa Ja'.
It was during Bigg Boss stint that fellow inmate Rahul Mahajan expressed an interest in pursuing a romantic relationship with her. However, nothing materialised between Monica Bedi and Rahul Mahajan.
Monica Bedi had confessed once that she had joined Bigg Boss with an aim "to start life afresh" and the industry gradually warmed up to the idea of working with her.
Today Monica Bedi is a part of the glamour world, but has not found the same adulation and fame that she had in the 1990s.
Monica Bedi has also tried her hand at doing television shows. She featured in the show Saraswatichandra in 2013-2014 and later in 2015 she featured in Bandhan.
Monica Bedi revealed in an interview that her mother suffered a paralytic attack when she was in jail, but today she has helped her mum get back on her feet and ensures that she follows a healthy routine.
Monica Bedi, who has roots in Hoshiarpur, Punjab, has also worked in Punjabi films. She starred in Sirphire, Romeo Ranjha and Bandookan.
Monica Bedi captioned this image, "Lazy morning selfie. Lemme sleep (sic)
A fitness fanatic, Monica Bedi posted the picture of her working out at the gym. She wrote, "For me, fitness is not just about hitting the gym; it is also about an inner happiness and an overall well-being (sic)"
Here's wishing Monica Bedi a very happy birthday!
Monica Bedi has led a controversial life, but now her imprisonment and affair with gangster Abu Salem are all behind her and she is living new innings in showbiz. On her birthday, here's a look at her journey...
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