This article was last updated on April 19, 2022
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USA: Oye! Times readers Get FREE $30 to spend on Amazon, Walmart…Sunny Leone was born to Panjabi family in Ontario, Canada. Her father and mother were very conservative. Sunny however was very rebellious and chose to pursue life in adult industry against her parent’s wishes. She was born as Karenjit Kaur Vohra (born May 13, 1981), better known by her stage name ‘Sunny Leone’, is an Indian Canadian actress and model, and former pornstar, also possessing American citizenship. She has also used the stage name Karen Malhotra. She was named Penthouse Pet of the Year in 2003, was a contract performer for Vivid Entertainment, and was named by Maxim as one of the 12 top porn stars in 2010.
She has played roles in independent mainstream events, films and television shows. Her first mainstream appearance was in 2005, when she worked as a red carpet reporter for the MTV Video Music Awards on MTV India. In 2011, she participated in the Indian reality television series Big Boss. She hosts the Indian reality showSplitsvilla.
Sunny Leone gets American citizenship
In June 2006, Leone became an American citizen, but stated she planned to remain a dual citizen of Canada. On 14 April 2012, Leone announced that she was now a resident of India explaining in an interview to The New Indian Express that she was an Overseas Citizen of India and that she was eligible for overseas citizenship because her parents lived in India. She applied for it prior to filming Jism 2.
Sunny Leone and her husband Daniel Weber arriving in India to promote Jism 2 Although bisexual, she has stated that she prefers men. Leone was engaged to Matt Erikson, a vice-president of marketing at Playboy Enterprises but they broke up in 2008. Sunny Leone had dated stand-up comedian Russell Peters for a brief period in 2008. She mentioned in an interview at the start of 2011 that she was married to Daniel Weber. During her stay in the Bigg Boss house later that same year, Leone indicated that she had married; Leone said she ‘purposely arrived late’ to their first date as she was not impressed with him, but he changed her mind by sending 24 roses to her hotel room.
A 2008 Eye Weekly article reported that “Leone does her best to maintain a link to Sikh traditions, even if more in theory than in practice. But she’s unlikely to disavow her career path due to religion” and that Leone said “Girls will leave the industry claiming that they found God. Well, the fact is, God has always been with them the entire time.” In a 2010 interview, she said.
It’s a community-based religion. You walk into a temple and you’re greeted with the utmost respect… But, just like any religion it doesn’t want you to shoot adult material. I mean, I grew up going to temple every Sunday. When my parents found out they knew my personality which was very independent. Even if they tried to stop me or tried to steer me the right way they would have lost their daughter. I’m too headstrong. And it wasn’t a plan. It just happened and my career and everything just kept getting bigger and bigger.
During her stay in the Bigg Boss house, Sunny was approached by Bollywood film-maker Mahesh Bhatt who entered the house briefly to offer her the lead role in Jism 2 (the sequel to the 2003 film Jism). She accepted it, which resulted in Pooja Bhatt’s production house, Fish Eye Network and Leone’s agent discussing the movie further. Leone’s entered Bollywood in 2012 with the film Jism 2 to weak critical reception but was commercially successful. Sunny Leone signed her second Bollywood film, “Ragini MMS 2”. Ragini MMS, sequel to Ekta Kapoor’s crossover horror movie Ragini MMS. Sunny Leone featured in an item number in the Sanjay Gupta and Ekta Kapoor’s 2013 film Shootout at Wadala. She further started filming for Kaizad Gustad’s Jackpot in which she plays a femme fatale. Jackpot released on 13 December 2013 and was panned by critics.
Her first release of 2014 was the much anticipated horror film Ragini MMS 2, which proved to be a box-office hit. Leone’s performance received all round praise with critic Mohar Basu calling her work a “revelation”. Critic Taran Adarsh also noted that Leone,” carries off her character with supreme confidence” In November 2013, she had confirmed that she would make her Tamil film debut in Vadacurry which released in May 2014 and featured her in a special appearance. She next appeared in the item number Pink Lips for the film Hate Story 2, . After giving a hit number Pink Lips, she appeared once again in Shake That Booty opposite Mika Singh from his film Balwinder Singh Famous Ho Gaya. She made her acting debut in the Telugu film industry by appearing in a cameo in Current Theega opposite Manchu Manoj and Rakul Preet Singh where she played a school teacher.
Sunny Leone becomes Bollywood star
Sunny Leone then appeared in item song Sesamma Bagilu Tegiyamma in Kannada film DK, which marked her debut in Kannada film industry. In April 2015, Leone appeared in Bobby Khan’s musical thriller Ek Paheli Leela, where she portrayed dual roles as Leela, a village belle and Meera, a supermodel from Milan. The film was released on April 10, 2015. The film met with mixed to negative reviews with collections of ₹27.47 crore (US$4.1 million). After a little gap, post the release of Ek Paheli Leela , she appeared in Devang Dholakia’s Kuch Kuch Locha Hai was released on May 8, 2015. She essayed the role of a film star opposite Ram Kapoor, Evelyn Sharma and Navdeep Chabbra. The film emerged to be a critical and commercial failure. She did her second Kannada song “Kamakshi” from the film Luv U Alia. Last in 2015, she appeared in a cameo in Akshay Kumar’s Singh is Bling.
In January 2016, she appeared in Milap Zaveri’s adult comedy Mastizaade, released on January 29, 2016 where she portrayed twin sisters, Laila Lele and Lily Lele along with Tusshar Kapoor and Vir Das. The film released to mixed reviews and was an average earner. One critic said “Leone may not be better than this film, but she’s the best thing in it.” Her next film was Jasmine D’souza’s One Night Stand with Tanuj Virwani released on May 6, 2016. The film was released to mixed reviews but was a flop commercially. Her last release of 2016 was Rajeev Chaudary’s Beiimaan Love opposite Rajneesh Duggal that released on October 14, 2016. Her performance was widely praised but the film met with negative reviews and flopped. She also appeared in song “Tu Zaroorat Nahi Tu Zaroori Hai” with Sharman Joshi in Fuddu and item song “Choli Blockbuster” for the film Dongri Ka Raja.
In 2012 she made her Bollywood debut in Pooja Bhatt’s erotic thriller Jism 2 (2012) and shifted her focus to mainstream acting which was followed up with Jackpot (2013),Ragini MMS 2 (2014) and Ek Paheli Leela (2015).
Apart from her acting career she has been part of activism campaigns including the Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half-Marathon to raise money for the American Cancer Society and has also posed for a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) ad campaign with a rescued dog, encouraging pet owners to have their cats and dogs spayed and neutered.
Since 2011, Sunny Leone has been married to Musician Daniel Weber.