Amid swirling rumors and speculation in the media that Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan and his wife Gauri had conducted gender testing – illegal in India – prior to the birth of their third child, it has finally been confirmed that the new addition to the Khan household is indeed a boy.
Yet the details are cryptic. According to reports, the baby was born well before the media hubbub surrounding the alleged prenatal gender test.
“Andheri hospital has informed the BMC health authorities that a boy was born on May 27, 2013,” said Vijay Khabale Patil, a spokesman for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). “The father’s name was Shah Rukh Khan and the mother was Gauri Khan.”
While it remains unclear why the news was kept under wraps for more than a month, yesterday the 47-year-old Bollywood star muddied the waters further when he said, “It’s a mixture of sad news and good news. When the sad part is over I will share the good part.”
Despite Mumbai municipal officials’ confirmation, Khan did not reveal the baby’s gender when he confirmed that the child had been born. He also told reporters that the news was “extremely personal”. He added, “I request the authorities concerned to continue to enthusiastically investigate about my baby.”
According to Mumbai municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar, “We are now in the process of establishing whether he is the biological child of the star couple. Once that is established, we shall ask them details of the sonography…to find out whether they did find out the child’s gender before birth.”
Another civic official added, “If the news report stating the child’s gender appeared after his birth, there is no issue.”
It has been widely reported that the child was born to a surrogate mother – rumored to be Gauri’s sister-in-law Namita Chibber – who carried the baby for the Khans, who have two other children, 15-year-old son Aryan and 13-year-old daughter Suhana.
When rumors circulated that the couple may have checked the baby’s gender the Indian Radiological and Imaging Association demanded an investigation. The practice is illegal in India where gendercide remains a problem due to a cultural preference for boys.
Khan, who tops the Forbes India Celebrity 100 list with annual earnings estimated at $37.7 million, has starred in around 75 Hindi films to date, including Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and My Name is Khan. He is currently promoting the romantic comedy Chennai Express, costarring Rohit Shetty, scheduled to hit cinemas in August. He has also been acknowledged for his humanitarian work and activism, for which he was honored by Yale University.