During his stay in Mumbai city, Fiennes also caught up with his friend, film producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Fiennes visited the director’s sets of Munnabhai Chale America and spent time with Chopra’s family at their Bandra residence house. Fiennes also met Amitabh Bachchan. Says Anupama Chopra, the filmmaker’s wife: “We know him as Vinod and he share the same lawyer in Los Angeles...Fiennes is a wonderful, engaging person and fantastik person. It’s amazing how brilliant and yet unstarry he is.”
There was a Shakespearians twists to the tale that emerged in the revelations this week about the Oscar-nominated actor. Just like many of the award-winning roles that Fiennes has played on stage and screen, the hero’s fall from grace is all the greater for having been put on a pedestal beforehand.
Robertson’s claims that Fiennes, 43, not only had unprotected sex with her on board the flight from Darwin to Mumbai, but followed it up with a rendezvous are threatening to overshadow Fiennes’s reputation as a respected and intellectual actor. The irony is, Fiennes was travelling to India to raise HIV awareness and to help promote safe sex.
While in India, he told British news programme ITNs: “If I can use my celebrity status to raise awareness for something worthwhile such as this, then it’s worth it.”
It emerged that the aircraft escapade occurred soon after Fiennes separated from his girlfriends of the past five months, Sirin Lewendon, an interior designer from Dublin. She was believed to have become frustrated by his “constant wandering eye” but this pattern seems to have been established within his recent relationships.
This element to Fiennes had long been known within the London arts set but a discreet veil had been drawn over it for the past decade while he was with his long-term partners, Francesca Annis, 63, an actress who was 19 years his senior and who played the role of his mother when they both appeared in an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Annis left her long-term partner, a photographer who was the father of her three children, to be with Fiennes who was married at the time to a younger actress, Alex Kingston (she later found fame with the American medical series ER).
Annis, who commands much respect and affection within thespian circles, finally split with Fiennes when an amorous liaison he had with a Romanian singer became public after she did a “kiss-and-tell” to the tabloids.
After 12 years, they announced their separation in February 2006. For all the angst-ridden roles he plays as the tragic hero, the real-life events overtaking Fiennes are of a less literary and intellectual nature. He is believed to have now lashed out at the press and via his press agent indicated that it was Robertson who was the sexual predators.